NJ Man Dies While Putting Holiday Lights On Home

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A southern New Jersey man has died after he fell while stringing Christmas lights on his roof.

Authorities did not immediately release the name of the 59-year-old man in Washington Township.

The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill reported the man was found lying unconscious in his driveway around 5 p.m. Sunday. A ladder was propped against the garage roof and his hat was left on the roof. Lights were half strung along the home’s second story.

The man was pronounced dead at Kennedy Memorial Hospital.

Police say an average of one person a year in the town dies while setting up holiday decorations.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Mark says:

    A relative of mine fell in a similar manner about 20 years ago – he wasn’t killed but, he was badly injured and was in rehab for about a year. For God’s sake stop the insane practice of putting lights in unsafe places – I am sure Jesus doesn’t care.

  2. so apparently the fact that holiday was not placed close enough to the word christmas is more important than the fact that a man died…this is why people hate americans.

  3. raba1 says:

    i wish all the best to the family over the xmas period, tad early to be putting up lights though.

    1. Marie says:

      My condolences to the family.

  4. no name says:

    Since when is christmas not a holiday??? Why can’t you say holiday these days? It’s like people getting upset when the lady at the register says “happy holidays”. Christmas IS a holiday…along with many other holidays around the same time. Not everyone is a christian! Why on earth would I assume that you are christian just because you are in my checkout line a few days before christmas???

    1. joachim says:

      Christmas isn’t just celebrated by Christians. I’m an atheist myself and I celebrate it (in a secular way). It doesn’t mean you are endorsing Christianity as a preferred religion every time you mention the word. Some common sense and maturity are needed here, as well as better usage of the English language…the word “holiday” desperately needs a holiday.

    2. MARIE says:

      no name: Please keep in mind, that the word ‘holiday’ is a derivative of the word ‘Holy Day’….MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

  5. Chris says:

    “Holiday –noun
    1. a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person. ”

    Hmmm, what could this holiday possibly be in commemoration OF?? Oh, right, CHRISTMAS!! Every year they try to erase more and more of the celebration of Jesus’ birth in lieu of holiday trinkets and political correctness.

    My prayers are with this man’s family, and I do not pray in the name of ‘holiday’.

    1. no name says:

      It’s not political correctness. It is realizing that (shocker!) not everone is a christian. Hell, even most christians are not “christians”. It’s not about NOT offending people. It’s about not being so arrogant as to assume that everyone celebrates the same HOLIDAYS that you do. There are multiple holidays around the same time. You’d look at me sideways if I wished you a happy hanukkah. Though I wouldn’t care if it offended you, it’s just silly.

  6. SJMilw says:

    Ladders don’t kill people, People kill people..

    God bless your family during this glorious season…

  7. Diane says:

    I am amazed at how we must alter our communication, change our traditions so as not to offend anyone. Not sure why the word Christmas would offend anyone. God forbid . Just like the Atheist father who tried to have One Nation under God removed from the pledge in his daughter’s classroom. Don’t like it then don’t participate.
    I am a Christian

  8. Maureen says:

    CHRISTMAS lights. That is what they are called, media.
    May the man rest in Christ’s peace. Is it still OK to say that?

  9. Taxpayer says:

    We need a 7-day waiting period on ladders and Christmas lights. If it saves just one life….

  10. Chris says:

    I agree we should specify the the holiday is Christmas. However, an ancient Greek symbol for Christ was the “X”. Persecuted Greek Christians started using the sign to promote the faith while trying not to be persecuted. Similar to how other Christians in other cultures “crossed” their fingers. The “crossed” fingers indicate the cross which showed that persons beliefs. Of course in our culture we do it for “good luck”.
    Anytime is a bad time to lose your father, husband, brother but this time and way seem worse. We should continue to remember this family as lead.

  11. magnoliabel says:

    My prayers are with his family and friends.

  12. david7590 says:

    You know, a man is dead here, just saying.

  13. Howard Stern says:

    Well, I know this wasn’t Artie Lange’s father….

  14. TJ says:

    My condolences to the family and a pox on all of you with your
    catty & insensensative remarks. Not wishing bad luck on anyone
    but I hope the world takes a wizz on your grave.

  15. madge says:

    It’s easy to be ignorant, and a big mouth when no one can see your face huh?

    1. Larry Mondello says:

      I can’t see your face!

  16. James Benoit says:

    “Holiday Lights?” Which “holiday?” X-MAS? Ya, get it right you prisoners of “political correctness” – Christmas Lights – ’cause it’s coming up on CHRISTMAS. Dang…RIP to this man – trying to brighten his home – for Christmas. God Bless his soul….

  17. obamasuxs says:

    Bush’s fault

  18. wingball says:

    I bet the ladder was made by union workers

  19. MRB says:

    Hopefully Burgermeister Meisterburger will put a stop to decorating in this town…

    1. Anthony Robinson says:

      That’s Stupid. Mind your own business. MERRY CRISTMAS

  20. HermanMunster says:

    It’s the left wing liberal marxists fault I say, cheerio old chap!!!

    1. Sheet Madraars says:

      Socialists fault, indeed! To avoid future tragedies – Government needs a new holiday tax in order to takeover all light display installs in America. Unions and friends of Barry would be exempt – as in government-run health care. Likely most federal workers in charge of lights will have same education as TSA employees (GED); installs may take longer. We’ll have to move Christmas holiday to May or June.

  21. VoiceOfTheTruth says:

    Well since this town averages 1 per year looks like it’s clear sailing for everyone else.

  22. Mike says:

    Improves? By resurrection?

  23. vicky says:

    He died, how can he improve roccaginzonzo

  24. shoppegirl says:

    People can be so cruel when no one can see their faces. People, someone just died here in an accident. Do you have no heart left.
    My sympathies go to the family of this young man.

    1. J.Owens says:

      couldnt have said it better shoppegirl

    2. DeeJay says:

      LOL! I’m also 59, the same age as the dead guy, and it’s been a long time since anyone called us 59 year olds “young”. You must be 90+!!!

      1. madge says:

        Hey, I am 59………..I am young…we are not all old farts lol

    3. James Benoit says:

      lol! Your comment is a hoot! God Bless this guy b ut goofing on New Jersey – priceless!

  25. Toni says:

    Next, an Executive Order will come banning “holiday” lights. For safety, for the environment, and so as not to upset Muslims.

  26. Scaley MacKerel says:

    Now they will decorate the coffin with festive holiday lights instead.
    Santa will not be pleased.

  27. Doug Onesko says:

    That ladder needed one more sticker….. BE CAREFUL

  28. Evie Garone says:

    I don’t understand why people attack each other in their comments…this having been said, what a shame a man had to die hanging his “Christmas Lights”. I hope he goes to a better place? I hope his family will grieve and be OK during this Christmas season, it is a hard time to lose a family member. What I did find weird, is that this TOWN loses a person a year to hanging lights, do they compete, like the Chevy Chase character, that that many people hang so many lights, hmmm, curious….


  29. Geo says:

    $20 says it was an aluminum ladder.

  30. SCOTTR says:


    1. archalic1 says:

      Me too, I put up my lights with out any problems!!

  31. scottr says:

    NJ I expect them to start blaming bush any second

  32. Beancounter says:

    That’s why I try not to do any hard labor.

    Hazardous to your health.

  33. Bob Clark says:

    That’s exactly why I don’t put up Christmas tree lights!

    1. Geezer says:

      I put up plenty of lights – on my first floor. Stopped that dangerous stuff years ago.

  34. Soviet says:

    Oh, better make it illegal to hang christmas lights. More nanny government is what we need!

  35. itanemo says:

    Sad for those who lose someone in the holiday

  36. Jack Henderson says:

    I agree with everyone. . . enough is enough with “Holiday” replacing CHRISTMAS! We’re in America. If you don’t like it or it offends you, don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!

    1. blah blah says:

      Your absolutely right! We can call it “Holiday” if we want to!

  37. danny says:

    Yeah I’m a real whack job cj, and you’re so level headed and understanding, nothing bothers you even a little, except someone like me point out an odd choice of words. I’m 43, i’ve never heard the term, holiday lights. why not just go ahead and call them christmas lights, why the change? you don’t think the writer made a conscious decision to make the change? it’s not a big deal, i’m not being overly sensitive, it’s not a crime, but it’s worth pointing out. I can say the same about you…You’re being overly sensitive (idiot) about me making my point. so f you.

    1. cj says:

      you weren’t the only one ‘making that point’ danny. so f u too. you all sound like a bunch of whiny libs (only they’d be b*tching about the use of the word ‘christmas in the body of the article– but it’s the same damn thing). yeah the writer– or more likely the copy editor made a decision to call them ‘holiday’ lights in the headline. my point is that they are CLEARLY called christmas lights in the article. if you would have bothered to read it you would know this already. and what exactly is your point? is christmas not a ‘holiday?’ are lights not put up on display for other ‘holidays’ as well? ‘whack jobs’ like you give true conservatives like me a bad rap

  38. TRE says:

    That is a tragic loss, but it may just trigger a new executive order that requires a federal agent to supervise any time a person attempts to hang “holiday” lights.

  39. CHRISC says:

    Police say 1 person a year dies in that town putting up decorations? What, is this the stupidest town in the U.S.?

    1. Jack Henderson says:

      I second ChrisC!

  40. travis12 says:

    You’re either mentally ill or incredibly crass

  41. cj says:

    it’s linked to drudge to get all the whack jobs up in arms. come on people, it clearly states ‘christmas lights’ in the first sentence. you people are acting like liberals for crying out loud. and for those of you who refuse to say ‘merry christmas’ for fear of offending some other overly sensitive idiot, i feel sorry for you. christmas is christmas, no way around it. there are other holidays celebrated this time of year, so have a happy whatever.

    to this man’s family, sorry for your loss. that really sucks. but keep in mind there is a reason, though that may be hidden now. either way, merry christmas to you, may you find peace in time…

  42. danny says:

    Holiday lights? Can’t even say the word “Christmas”? I doubt CBSPhilly had a problem with the word “Ramadan”. Did they refer to Ramadan as the “October holiday”?

    By the way, this was why drudge linked to this story… to demonstate how ridiculous thing have gotten.

    1. cj says:

      did you bother to read the article? ‘christmas’ is clearly mentioned

  43. Walt says:

    There not holiday lights they are season lights–I guess winter season lights. Although most of the time they are up in the fall. I guess they are fall season lights. Boy, what a quadry. It’s tough to erase Jesus from ever existing isn’t it?

    1. wadi says:

      ggoing? Way to mock somone for their spelling.

      Let’s see: Hate speech? check. Rank hypocrisy? check. racism? checkerooo Walt WHITETRASH must be a liberal.

      Oh, and I see the other libs at the local SEE BS affiliate just sent their reference to “holiday lights” down the “progressive” memory hole. Changed it to Christmas lights, but no reference to the change. Typical

  44. Dave says:

    Come on, someone died. This isn’t the time or place for ‘humor’

  45. hcool says:

    Holiday lights? What Holiday were they for?

  46. Mike says:

    Al, you will be truly missed by your friends at Boeing

  47. Real Rick says:

    Sad story. Hope his family does well. Losing ‘Dad’ around Christmas sucks.

  48. John says:

    Seriously, why is this on DrudgeReport?

    1. RaulJones says:

      Seriously, why do you ask stupid questions?

  49. Pat says:

    There is only one solution: BAN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!!!!!!

  50. Bob Chessman says:

    R.I.P. Alan. You always had a great light show and your house was the best on the block.

  51. Pogue Mahone says:

    I think we need an investigation to determine why all the deaths from hanging lights or decorations are happening only in this town. Something is very strange here. It has to be more than coincidence that so many deaths like this are happening here, unless this town has a much MUCH larger population that the government is not telling us about, or perhaps there is something evil or confusing about the decorations or lights themselves. This should not be dismissed so quickly.

  52. VTSAGE says:

    My condolences to the family … and my thanks to the rest of you for so great laughs

    1. jim says:

      why say that, they don’t know you so it’s only feel good stuff for YOU. Doubtful they read the news looking for condolences.

  53. I.Wonder says:

    How do we know he was putting them up maybe he was taking down the bad lights from last year?

    1. Liz says:

      Some of these comments are heartless. This is a very sad story…sooo sorry for the man who lost his life and for his family who will be grieving for him during this Christmas season.

  54. Sage says:

    A man is dead in a fall from a ladder and most of the posts are tasteless and heartless. While a family suffers, you cretin cowards post anonymous rude remarks. Grow up or get off your Mommies’ computers.

    1. Lukuj says:

      Having lost a family member myself, I can’t help but feel that, though I know there is some humor to the situation, sometimes out of respect it is better to keep any humor to yourself. I only hope the family doesn’t read any of the jesting comments, though I understand that those who made them probably were not trying to be deliberately cruel or hateful, or at least I hope not.
      I worry about a fall every year when my husband puts the lights on the roof line.. This has served to icrease my nervousness. Guess I’ll hold the ladder even tighter than usual and say a prayer for this man who lost his life.

      1. Sage says:

        There is no humor in this situation. What kind of world were you people raised in?

  55. MW says:

    Glad that’s behind us… the rest of the town can hang their holiday lights without fear.

  56. Bingethirty says:

    you can no longer speak in religious terms , merry xmas or happy holidays

  57. Can't u read? says:

    “Christmas lights” – first sentence! Geez….
    Do any of you READ???
    “Holiday decorations” – last sentence. People are allowed to put up DECORATIONS for various HOLIDAYS, aren’t they? Point was, during this endeavor, an average of 1 person per year dies – in this town, never mind larger towns and cities.

    And most of you are splitting hairs about WHY they are dong this??? As my dad used to say, “Go scratch.” You ought to be ashamed…..

  58. Mary says:

    How very sad. Condolences and prayers to his family.

  59. Can't u read? says:

    “Christmas lights” – first sentence! Geez….

    1. Rooferswife says:

      Bone Head….You’re a Day late and a dollar short….The STORY READ Holiday Lights….They finally corrected it…..Do you think I pulled that out of my ASS like you did your head….????

  60. Can't u read? says:

    Isn’t that what the article said??? “Christmas lights” – first sentence! Geez….

    1. Politically Correct Fail says:

      Title of the article – HOLIDAY lights – CAN’T YOU READ??

  61. RIP Leslie Nielsen says:

    The jokes are funny for about a half-a-second, but if this tragedy happened to one of the Jay Lenos in this forum it wouldnt be a laughing matter his/her family or friends. Condolences to the family.

    1. dork says:

      “?Jimmy, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

  62. Karen says:


  63. Rooferswife says:


  64. Rooferswife says:

    Maybe they we Hanukah Lights ??…They now have them because I just seen them at the store but they are on the oppisite side of the isle…They don’t like gentile “lights” either like their owners

  65. Mr Grinch says:

    You know Clark……If one of of them lights is out… the rest won’t light….

  66. Kat says:

    Thats a lot of people to die in such an odd way.. Maybe they should put up a plaque like memorial…

  67. rattlingbones says:

    Washington Township, isn’t that the home of Joe’s Wholesale Rickety Ladder shop?

  68. WestMed223 says:


    1. Can't u read? says:

      Isn’t that what the article said??? “Christmas lights” – first sentence! Geez….

  69. joy says:

    Praying for the family and friends of the man, What a horrible time of year to suffer a loss.

    1. MajorPhartz says:

      Would there have been a better time?

  70. Rooferswife says:

    1 Person per year dies while hanging holiday lights in that town….????…That sounds kind of strange to me…do they mean in the state possibly ???….RIP to the man and Condolences to his family

    1. Can't u read? says:

      ‘Christmas’ lights, rooferswife. And not in THE STATE… in THE TOWN.
      Yes – a tragedy in a town where most people know each other.

    2. el conquistador says:

      Jesus is the reason for the season. That has never changed. Only coward’s call it something else.

      1. Gerald says:

        Axial tilt is the reason for the season……

  71. DaveInDoylestown says:

    Seriously? 1 per year in that town alone?

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