Family of boy killed at rotating restaurant: ‘He was lovable child who had a hug for everyone’

Charlie Holt, in an undated family photo.
Charlie Holt, in an undated family photo. Courtesy of the Holt family

The family of the 5-year-old boy killed last Friday during an accident in a rotating restaurant atop an Atlanta skyscraper has set up a memorial fund in his name.

In a statement issued to the media on Tuesday afternoon, the family – which lives in Charlotte – said: “Charlie Holt was the sweetest, most accepting, and lovable child who had a hug for everyone. He never met a person or an animal whom he did not immediately love. Everyone was his friend. His thirst for knowledge and adventure was infectious. Everyone so loved sweet little Charlie.”

Multiple reports say the tragedy occurred during a late lunch the boy and his parents were having Friday at the Sun Dial during a trip to Atlanta. The restaurant, on the 71st floor of the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in the city’s downtown area, sits on a revolving platform that makes a complete clockwise rotation every hour to give diners spectacular views of the city and suburbs.

Shortly after 3 p.m., Charlie Holt reportedly wandered across an aisle to another table and rounded a bench backed up against a wall. There, his head got stuck in a 5-inch gap between the furniture and a wall as the restaurant’s floor rotated in the opposite direction.

After staff and patrons worked to free him, the boy was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, less than a mile away, where he was pronounced dead at about 4:20 p.m., according to media reports.

On Tuesday, the family said in its statement that donations in his memory could be made to the Charlie Holt Memorial Fund, “established to preserve his memory and to allow children to fulfill the dreams that Charlie himself was unable to experience.

Contributions may be mailed to: The Charlie Holt Memorial Fund, Towne Bank, 5806 Harbourview Blvd., Suite 201, Suffolk, Va., 23435.

Very little information is known about the boy or his family. Along with the statement, a spokesperson said by email on Tuesday: “Thank you for giving the family the privacy it needs during this time.”

Janes: 704-358-5897;

Twitter: @theodenjanes