Savannah Police: Tourist dies from fall near Savannah River

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Police say a 57-year-old tourist has died in Savannah after he fell over a handrail onto the old stones paving the pedestrian walkways near the city's historic riverfront.

Savannah-Chatham County police said the fatal fall happened at about 12:30 a.m. Friday. Thousands of tourists are packing Savannah for the city's St. Patrick's Day celebration this weekend, and the riverfront in the downtown historic district is a favorite spot for bar-hopping.

Police did not immediately say what caused the fall that killed Douglas Welch of Nicholasville, Ky., or if he was visiting Savannah for St. Patrick's Day.

He fell from the top of a stairway onto Factors' Walk, a stone-paved promenade at the bottom of a steep bluff where downtown Savannah stands about 40 feet above the Savannah River.