Lehigh Valley

Man dies a week after jumping out of hospital window

Jonathan L. Hanchick's death was ruled an accident.

Man dies after jump from hospital window

FOUNTAIN HILL, Pa. - A Northampton County man has died, a week after jumping six floors from a hospital window.

Jonathan L. Hanchick died around 11:15 p.m. Monday at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, Lehigh County, said Scott Grim, the Lehigh County coroner.

Hanchick, 26, of Bethlehem Township, died of multiple injuries, Grim said.

Hanchick jumped from a sixth floor window at St. Luke's Hospital around 1:40 p.m. last Wednesday, while attempting to leave the hospital on his own, Grim said.

69 News talked with Hanchick's family, who said the victim suffered from brain injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident on May 17 and was being watched closely at the hospital.

He had successfully escaped twice before, the family said, and each of those times he was found walking around on the sidewalk in front of the hospital.

Hanchick locked himself in a bathroom and was just trying to get out of the hospital, the family said, but due to his brain trauma, he may have thought he could have survived the jump.

"He wanted to come home. He tried to find a way home to come home. Maybe he saw the window as a way to do it," said his father, Jeff Hanchick.

Jonathan Hanchick was scheduled to be released from the hospital into a rehab program in a few days.

St. Luke's issued the following statement:

"We can confirm that a patient broke through a locked bathroom window and jumped three floors below. Out of respect for patient and family privacy, we will not be providing additional details at this time. Our hearts go out to the family members."

The coroner's office and the Fountain Hill Police Department conducted the investigation, ruling the death an accident, but that's not good enough for Hanchick's family.

"Were people with him 24 hours a day up to this? Somehow they are saying he locked himself in the bathroom, managed to get the window broke, get out through the window," said his cousin, Michael Toth.

Jeff Hanchick said he blames the hospital for what happened.

"Yes, I do," he said, "but that is something I have to talk to my attorney about, but yes, I do."

Hanchick was involved in an accident while operating a motorcycle on May 17 in the area of Freemansburg Avenue and 5th Street in Bethlehem Township, police said.

According to court documents, he was facing numerous charges, including DUI with a blood alcohol level of .27, careless driving and related offenses.

Court officials told 69 News on Tuesday that the complaint was never served because Hanchick was hospitalized.

Hanchick was acquitted in 2010 of vehicular homicide in a 2008 crash that killed his 19-year-old passenger, Michael Schuyler, in Lower Saucon Township, Lehigh County.

Hanchick was also accused of using a golf club to smash his ex-girlfriend's car when she refused to go drinking with him in July 2013. He was charged with making terroristic threats and criminal mischief.

He leaves behind two small children.

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