By: Savannah Smith | 08-20-2017 | News
Photo credit: Tribune-Review |

Penn Teacher Dies After ‘Laughing too Hard’ and Falling Off Balcony in Mexico

A Pennsylvania school teacher met her tragic end while vacationing in Mexico on Monday when she accidentally fell off a roof-top balcony - because she was laughing so hard.

Sharon Regoli Ciferno, 50, used to teach at charles A. Huston Middle School in western Pennsylvania and was on a trip to Mexico with her daughter. Mother and daughter were staying in the house of Ciferno’s friend in Mexico, when the teacher sat on a deck ledge that only serves as a bench.

Her brother David Regoli shared to PennLive what happened that turned a happy occasion into a tragic one. He said: "She started laughing hard and when she put her head back, she lost her balance and fell back. She suffered multiple injuries to her body and brain."

Regoli was also quick to clarify that alcohol was not a factor in his sister’s unfortunate death. What could have contributed her untimely and tragic death was the fact that building code standards in Mexico are unfortunately not as stringent as in the U.S. Regoli said: “Unfortunately, there was no back on the deck.”

Ciferno was brought to a hospital in San Diego, but died of her injuries. Her brother said: "This was a tragic accident that has devastated our very close-knit family."

Sadly the accident happened just as Ciferno and her students were getting ready for the resumption of classes after the summer break. Brian Ferra, the Huston Middle School Principal, said that Ciferno’s death will create a void in the school. Ferra said in an interview with a local website that: "She wore her heart on her sleeve. She would do anything for anyone."

But even in death, her family made sure Ciferno’s goodness will continue. Five people will benefit with the gift of some of her organs.

Ciferno was married and a mother to two children, ages 15 and 17.


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