UCSB student Melissa Portillo, a 22-year-old from Los Angeles, died early Thursday morning after falling from an apartment balcony on the 6500 block of Cordoba Road. A second victim, 22-year-old Michael A.J.H. Kuster, suffered injuries to the back and head, but is currently in stable condition at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies and UCSB Police Officers responded to the scene of the incident at approximately 1 a.m. and immediately began administering first aid until paramedics arrived and rushed both victims to Cottage Hospital. Portillo sustained blunt force trauma to the head and was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to the hospital.
According to a press release from Sgt. Mark Williams of the sheriff’s department, both victims fell over a second story railing at the top of the apartment complex’s exterior stairs. Williams said initial investigation found the fall was most likely an accident, and alcohol may have been a factor, but foul play is not suspected.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Nexus.