Broward News

Doctor Who Fell to Death Through Glass Ceiling at Diplomat Resort Was Drunk, Autopsy Says

The Chicago-based doctor who fell through the glass ceiling at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa last November was drunk, according to an autopsy report.

Piotr Kulesza, MD/PhD, the Chicago area associate professor in pathology, was in town for the tenth-annual Fairy Tale Ball "The Wizard of Oz" fundraising event hosted by the Diamond Angels of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation when he fell from his 23rd-floor hotel balcony.

At the time of his death, police were unable to find any clues of foul play. At least one guest said some had thought Kulesza, 46, had been pushed.

But an autopsy report, released last month, says Kulesza had been drinking before he fell. He had a blood-alcohol level measured at .19, the report says.

From the Sun Sentinel:

Kulesza, 46, a native of Warsaw, Poland, and an assistant professor at Northwestern University in Illinois, was attending an oncology research conference at the hotel when he fell from his room's balcony and crashed through the glass-ceiling atrium in the hotel lobby.

"After dinner and drinks at a bar within the hotel, he returned to his room and approximately 1.5 hours after last being seen he fell from his balcony, through the glass atrium onto the floor of the bar in the lobby of the hotel," the newly released Dec. 17 autopsy report said.

Kulesza, a cancer researcher, was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m. after authorities responded to 911 calls from the hotel. There had been some sprinkler malfunctions possibly related to the fall.

His body fell just a few feet from the lobby bar, sending a shower of glass from the ceiling onto the ground.

"There was glass and debris in the lobby," Hollywood Fire Rescue spokesman Joel Medina said at the time. "And there was damage to a sprinkler pipe that caused the sprinkler system to go on."

According to the autopsy, Kulesza suffered multiple fractures to his face, skull, ribs, sternum, and pelvis and cuts to his liver and heart. The cause of death is reported as "multiple blunt force trauma."

While Hollywood police have yet to find any clues that would lead them to foul play, they say the investigation remains ongoing.

The Sun Sentinel tried to reach Kulesza's widow -- who was with him at the conference -- but have not heard back from her.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph