Floyd Co. resident hopes to raise awareness about deck safety


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on February 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 7:23 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A dramatic deck collapse in Southern Indiana was caught on tape.
We first brought you this story in December when 24 people tumbled to the ground at the Wolf Lake Subdivision Clubhouse when the deck they were on collapsed.

Now a resident is hoping, by releasing the surveillance video, he can help raise awareness about deck safety.

The surveillance video shows a Christmas party taking place at the Clubhouse in the Wolf Lake Subdivision. Everyone backs up to the rail to take a picture and at that moment, the deck drops to the ground, sending 24 people down with it.

"I can't believe it didn’t happen sooner. It's the same deck that was built a little over 11 years ago,” Jeremy Wilt said.

Wilt obtained the video and it was his family on the deck. He's an EMT and happened to be called out to the scene first that night. The first time we met him he spoke to us with his 8-year-old daughter that was shielded by another relative when she fell.

"The day it happened I told my wife we were going to find a silver lining here somewhere and this is what has bubbled up," Wilt said.

In the weeks that followed, Wilt took pictures of what was left of the deck and then he examined this tape. He was shocked by what he saw.

"There was just nails holding this deck up. Just four nails on each board supporting the front boards holding this deck up. There were no bolts. There's no support boards that held the deck up," Wilt said.

More than anything Wilt wants to educate the public about the safety of decks. His deck now has to be rebuilt as well as many more in the neighborhood. But he feels lucky to share this story and hopefully prevent this from happening.

"Get your deck inspected, built properly up to code, because it's more than a fixture. Because your whole family is gonna be standing out on the deck one day. And if you have not seen the video or been exposed to deck building you have no idea if your deck is safe," Wilt said.

Wilt and the other families are suing. Wilt is suing the builder Schuler Homes. They did not return our calls. Many others are also suing the homeowners association. We attempted to contact the president and he also did not return our calls.