China: Man makes fatal 128-story fall seconds after taking a selfie

A young American daredevil made a deadly fall this morning, after taking a selfie in an extremely dangerous position on top of the 128-story high Shanghai Tower.

23-year old David Fitzgerald and 22-year Jason Campbell, from Newberry in Michigan, decided to climb the second-tallest building in the world, in order to take selfies while walking on top of the building.

Unfortunately, their plan went terribly wrong. One of them is now dead and the other one could face serious criminal charges.

A illegal and dangerous plan

It appears that the two young men had begun planning their risky operation at home, before taking the plane for China a week ago.


The Shanghai Tower is currently the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It was scheduled to open to the public in June 2015, but the building remains out of bound to public.

They spent the last two days observing the security services of the lower levels of the tower, trying to determine how they could make their way to the roof without being noticed.

They finally decided to go ahead with their project this morning, around 6:00 AM, and they successfully skirted the security guards, climbing up the stairs almost the entire way.

They were able to reach the skyscraper’s roof, where they began preparing to take their pictures.

Unfortunately, Mr. Fitzgerald’s foot slipped almost immediately after he took his first selfie, and he fell 632 meters to the street below.

Dead before he hit the ground

According to Chinese officials, David Fitzgerald was most likely dead before he even hit the ground, but a police investigation has been opened to try to clarify the exact cause and circumstances of his death.

“His body is literally splattered over the entire area, so it’s impossible to do an autopsy,” said Dr. Wu Jiang. “However, we can say with certainty that he did not suffer. Some witnesses have reported that he had stopped yelling before he actually hit the concrete, a fact that suggests he might have had a heart attack. This happens in this kind of situation, because the brain goes into overdrive and sends the body into shock.”

Recent studies have indeed shown, that if you jump out of a 20 story building, your life ends peacefully more than six meters before impact with the ground.


Dr Wu told reporters that a fall from 15–18 meters (50–60 ft) will prove fatal to most people, but that beyond 30 meters, the brain has enough time to realize what is happening and most people die of fear during the fall.

Despite Dr. Wu’s claim, the actual condition of the remains makes the exact cause of death almost impossible to determine.

His best friend arrested

Mr. Fitzgerald’s childhood friend and Partner in this project, Jason Campbell, was arrested shortly after the accident.

He already faces a total of 9 criminal charges, including breaking and entering, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor and trespassing.

He is still being interrogated by the Shanghai city police as a “key witness” in the investigation, and could possibly face more charges, related to the death of his friend.