The parents of Charlie Holt – the 5-year-old Charlotte boy who died after being killed Friday in an accident at a rotating restaurant atop a downtown Atlanta skyscraper – released a photo of their son to the media on Sunday afternoon.
Along with the photo, a spokesperson for the family said that there will be no further statement or information on funeral at this time. “The family appreciates the continued privacy,” the spokesperson said in an email to the Observer.
Here’s what we know about the incident on Friday:
▪ The boy and his parents were visiting from Charlotte, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department said. According to multiple media reports, they were staying at a nearby hotel but had chosen to eat lunch Friday afternoon at The Sun Dial restaurant on the 71st floor of the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel.
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▪ The restaurant’s lunch service officially ends at 2:30 p.m. on weekdays; the incident occurred just before 3:30 p.m. “We know they (were) the last customers for the lunch crowd, and this was very tragic,” a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department told CNN.
▪ In an email to the media, police said: “The family was seated at a window table. At some point the child ... wandered away from the table. Somehow, the child became lodged between the wall and a table as the dining area rotated. The rotating floor automatically shut off.”
▪ “His whole body was caught in between maybe 4 or 5 inches of space and his head took the brunt of the injury,” police told Atlanta’s NBC affiliate, WXIA. “It crushed his little small body.”
▪ In a news conference, police told media that staff and patrons at the restaurant quickly rushed to the boy’s aid. “The amount of people who were helping was amazing,” a spokesman said. “They were moving furniture, they were pulling chairs – chairs that were bolted to the floor – they were pulling them up to try to get the child out.”
▪ 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 multiple reports.
▪ The Westin Peachtree Plaza issued this statement Friday: “We are working with the authorities as they look into this tragic accident and we will continue to assist them in any way we can. Words cannot express the depths of our sorrow. Our thoughts remain with the family.”
▪ The revolving platform atop the 73-story hotel makes a complete clockwise rotation every hour, giving diners at The Sun Dial restaurant (on the 71st floor) spectacular views of the city and suburbs. There’s also a bar level (on 73) and a viewing terrace (on 72) for those who want to take in the panorama without the food. It opened in 1976.
▪ The restaurant will remain closed until further notice.
▪ In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon, a spokesperson for the boy’s family said: “The family asks for prayers and privacy right now to come to terms with this tragedy. No words can express their loss. If you have a loved one, please give them an extra hug today.” The spokesperson also said the parents will not be releasing a photo of their son at this time.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.