Photos of San Luis Obispo garage roof collapsing

March 7, 2015

Coordinated through social media, several thousand college-aged men and women poured into a residential neighborhood in San Luis Obispo near Cal Poly on Friday night. Many of the revelers were drinking alcoholic beverages and were wearing green clothing for the pre-Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.

San Luis Obispo police were informed of the loud block party at 4:44 a.m. on Saturday and began giving citations.

At 6:21 a.m., between 30 to 40 party-goers were standing on top of a garage at 364 Hathaway Avenue and the roof collapsed under the weight of the people, causing at least eight injuries.

Following are photos of the roof collapsing:

roof 1

roof 2

roof 3


roof 5


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  1. Citizen says:

    I wish someone with construction experience would take a look at these pictures of the collapsed garage and give an opinion. The roof didn’t just collapse, the entire building fell apart, wall by wall.

    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      My construction experience is insufficient to qualify me as an expert but, garages are sometimes not made to the same structural standards as houses. This is not illegal — or at least was not illegal in the past. The roof of the garage could easily be a major element in tying the walls together and the outward force of a collapsing, overloaded roof could force one or more walls to lean out and collapse too.

    • Kevin Rice says:

      Citizen— that’s not correct. The walls remain in photo # 2, where you can see people trying to bring it down to access the interior.

      • Citizen says:

        Were they bringing it down or holding it up so it wouldn’t fall on them?

        • Kevin Rice says:

          Okay, well, I note arms are stretched high and bodies are close to the wall. If I were pushing away, I would have my arms around 2 o’clock (not 12 o’clock) and have my legs out from the building (around 7 o’clock) forming a straight diagonal line pushing up and out. Hugging the wall—as seen here–is more of a reaching up and pulling down stance.

          As with any uncoordinated crowd, there appears to possibly be a bit of both going on, but the gentlemen on the right and left seem to be pulling. Some could have been preparing to catch and slowly lower the wall as others pulled down.

          To be definitive, you’d have to ask someone there.

  2. catsdad says:

    Well if all the police were not assigned to protect the true instigators of this type of activities, the over abundant amount of bars downtown perhaps the police could quell this type of activity in our neighborhood’s before they get out of hand. One of the original selling point for Measure Y was increased neighborhood police patrols. But the residents didn’t hold the Council accountable and all that money went downtown. But at least the proposed dorms on Slack Street will put an end to this ruining of our neighborhood. Not!

  3. T-Bone says:

    There’s some future Darwin Award candidates right there in that crowd.

  4. pigsrule says:

    Were they going to stand on that roof for the next 10 days? I don’t want to make light of this accident, but maybe this is a good way to cull the herd of some of the not-so-bright ones among us.

  5. jonhartz says:

    !. St. Patrick’s Day is 10 days off. Are they planning to get drunk for the next ten days?
    2. Aren’t there any engineering students here? Any layman could tell you a roof will collapse if the load is too much.
    3. Idiots.

    • Kevin Rice says:

      1. Yes. And stoned.
      2. Yes. One taking the photos and the other one is near the front of the garage waving to the people on the roof to get down (light blue long sleeves). In the second image he is waving people to back away and make room for the front wall to come down.
      3. And young, good looking and care free. Most will mature over time.

  6. bobfromsanluis says:

    Jeepers; I had the unfortunate experience of having renters living next to me about ten years ago, and they threw one of these “epic” parties (even before twitter!); between the front yard, the house, and the backyard, there were some 500 or so young people there. Cars were being double and triple parked in the street, so yeah, the police were called, several times by several neighbors. After the police came by for the third time, the crowd was finally dispersed.

    I do wonder if this event won’t blossom into some sort of meme; maybe “we brought the roof down, we were partying so hard” .. or “our party was so bad, it crashed itself” …

  7. TacomaRose says:

    My brother who was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war, survived in part from common sense. He used to tell me that there are so many people who are simply “ate up with the dumb ass.”

    That seems to be the case here.

    I hope the knuckleheads who were standing on top of the roof aren’t majoring in architecture. If so maybe they should reread the chapters on load bearing.

  8. scoopone says:

    Can’t explain stupid to Poly kids!!

    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      True enough but it isn’t limited to Cal Poly. I made some dumb mistakes when I was a student too and learned from them as they weren’t dumb enough to kill me. Some people mature enough to avoid such situations by that age but many take a few more years.

  9. info says:

    I’d laugh my ass off if one of the injured was an engineer or architect student. “Gee dad I have to have statics or dynamics class. Well son I hope you enjoyed your physics lesson. Here is one on finance”.

    I can dream cant I?

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