Daredevil and highly dangerous antics of the deceased in the swimming pool area on the 6th floor of his luxury hotel led to his fall and untimely death. Police are trying to understand why?
Police in Phuket’s Patong district are continuing their investigation into the tragic death, on Wednesday, of 19-year-old Joshua James Connell from Australia who fell to his death in what appears to have been an accident after attempting to walk along the top of a structure at the edge of his hotel’s swimming pool on the 6th floor before falling to his death.
It is understood that officers are focusing on the state of mind of a 19-year-old Australian tourist who fell to his death on Wednesday evening on the island of Phuket just over 24 hours after checking into his hotel in the Patpong district, famous for its nightlife activity.
The young tourist has been named as Joshua James Connell and was seen on colour CCTV footage just seconds before he fell off an artificial brick-faced fence structure at the end of the swimming pool, on top of the Paripas Patong Resort Hotel on the 6th floor.
Travelled to Thailand with a friend from Australia, had just checked in the day previously on June 28th
Mr Connell is believed to have been staying at the luxury hotel with a friend with whom he is believed to have travelled with from Australia.
Local residents and business owners in the area surrounding the hotel were shocked by the incident which occurred at approximately 5.45 pm on Wednesday as many businesses were preparing for the evening trade including the restaurant six stories beneath the hotel into which the young man crashed after his fall.
Ning Tanyaporn is a local shop owner and recalled what happened: ‘I had just opened my shop and I heard a loud thunder sound. I thought a car had crashed or there was an explosion in their kitchen. People gathered around the restaurant and saw the foreign man on the roof. He was unconscious so someone called an ambulance. Everyone was shocked that he fell down and died.’
Staff at a local restaurant heard a loud blast in the kitchen area on Wednesday evening as they prepared to serve dinner when Mr Connell’s body landed
Police Lieutenant Colonel Kokiat Boonplod, who is in charge of the case, gave details of the incident to the press and outlined the ongoing investigation.
He revealed that Mr Connel was only wearing shorts without any shirt when he was found by the staff and operators of the restaurant premises on which he had landed on Wednesday evening.
Staff and operators at the facility had just begun preparing to serve dinner when they heard a loud blast from the kitchen area due to the impact of the young man’s body from the fall which broke and dislodged several roof tiles and caused internal debris within the restaurant area.
‘The roof of the restaurant hut was shattered and several tiles were on the floor. The deceased’s legs were twisted and he had wounds on his head,’ he disclosed.
Severely injured, unconscious young man removed to Patong Hospital before being declared dead by medics
Police Lieutenant Colonel Kokiat said emergency services and the police responded to the situation within 5 minutes and that Mr Connell, while severely injured and unconscious, was transferred to Patong Hospital where he was declared dead shortly after admission by medical staff.
An autopsy was ordered in line with normal procedures as police studied the CCTV footage from the hotel which shows the last minutes of the young man leading up to what turned out to be an appalling tragedy.
Tragedy comes just six weeks after another Australian, 22-year-old Billy James Simmons, fell from the 11th floor of his hotel in the same area
The death of Mr Connell comes six weeks after the death of 22-year-old Billy James Simmons after he fell to his death from the 11th-floor balcony of the Royal Paradise Hotel & Spa, also in the Patong nightlife area on May 17th last.
Two weeks later, on May 31st, another foreign tourist, 37-year-old Russian woman Evgenia Smirnova, met her death when she fell from an unusual outdoor staircase between the 7th and 8th floor of another hotel and apartment complex in the Patong area of Phuket.
Three foreigners, a Russian woman and two men from the United States and the United Arab Emirates, are currently facing charges related to her death on the basis of reckless negligence.
Police trying to understand young man’s state of mind as he attempted his daredevil feat on Wednesday
As part of the police investigation into the death, they have begun interviewing staff at the hotel to try to determine why the young man acted the way he did in the minutes leading up to his death by undertaking a daredevil and extremely dangerous stunt when he climbed on top of the dividing structure and attempted to walk along it.
Police accept that there’s no other party directly involved in the death from the conclusive evidence they have seen.
The CCTV footage from the hotel clearly shows Mr Connell alone and emerging from the water before contemplating climbing on top of the protective structure at the end of the swimming pool area on the hotel’s rooftop.
After pausing a while, he can be seen eventually jumping on top and balancing himself as he walked confidently along the top of its narrow rail.
At one point, he can be seen raising his arms in the air for balance as walked further along the top of the structure until he finally falls to his death.