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Fall from ladder kills man hanging Christmas lights

December 05, 2006|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A 59-year-old Aliso Viejo man fell to his death over the weekend while hanging Christmas lights on the side of his house, authorities said Monday.

Christopher Shifter died around 1 p.m. Sunday after falling from a ladder at his home in the 40 block of Montara Drive, said Capt. Stephen Miller of the Orange County Fire Authority. An autopsy Monday determined that he had died of "multiple traumatic injuries," Miller said.

Authorities said they couldn't determine how far he fell or what caused the fall. "We don't know how high he was" up the ladder, the captain said.

Miller said Shifter's wife, who was in the house at the time, heard a thump, went outside to investigate and found her husband lying on the ground. He was able to speak to her briefly but died after paramedics took him to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.

Miller said paramedics had "found a ladder lying on the ground, but there were no witnesses. We don't know what made him fall."

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david.haldane@latimes.com

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