News

Isabelle was 'much loved' member of her community

17-year-old Isabelle Colman from The Gap died after falling from a highrise balcony on the Gold Coast during Schoolies Week.
17-year-old Isabelle Colman from The Gap died after falling from a highrise balcony on the Gold Coast during Schoolies Week.

STUDENTS at the college attended by Isabelle Coleman have prayed for the 17-year-old family following her tragic death from a balcony fall on the Gold Coast.

"The Mt St Michael's College, Ashgrove community is deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of its graduating Year 12 students Isabelle Colman at the Gold Coast last night,'' a statement from the college said on Friday.

"The college community gathered to pray for Isabelle today and our thoughts and prayers remain with her family and friends at this difficult time.

"Counselling has been offered to all students and staff at the college today and will continue to be available.

"Isabelle was an enthusiastic and much loved member of the college community.

"She was a well-respected student and was particularly interested in drama and the creative arts. She had been looking forward to furthering her studies in this area.''

An opportunity for the recently graduated students to gather together will be provided at the college next week.

"We ask that the privacy of all concerned with this tragedy be respected at this difficult time.''

Isabelle's parent are "deeply traumatised".

Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Graham Rynders said he had spoken to the family who hoped people would respect their privacy.

Isabelle Colman, 17, died after falling from the 26th floor of the Chevron Renaissance Hotel on Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise, about 9.30pm on Thursday.

Mr Rynders said the young woman appeared to be alone in the unit when she fell.

He said six people witnessed her fall - some from other balconies while others saw the whole thing from the ground.

"I implore kids tonight to look after each other and stick together," he said.

"It'll probably descend a huge cloud on schoolies."

Mr Rynders said the 2012 schoolies event had otherwise been successful.

He said it was "almost impossible" to stop people going out on balconies and all police could do was issue further messages asking people to be careful.

Police are investigating the death and will prepare a report for the coroner.

Police name schoolie killed in balcony fall

The young woman who died after falling from a balcony in Surfers Paradise has been identified as 17-year-old Isabelle Colman from The Gap.

Police said she was a student at Mt St Michaels College at Ashgrove.

Initial investigations have determined that she died after falling from a balcony of a high rise building on Ferny Avenue around 9.30pm yesterday.

It is believed she was on the Gold Coast as part of Schoolies celebrations.

Investigations are continuing with police preparing a report for the Coroner.

Schoolies say they just want go to home after tragedy

SHOCKED schoolies say they want to go home after witnessing the aftermath of a tragic balcony fall which claimed the life of a 17-year-old girl.

The Brisbane teenager was staying in accommodation on Ferny Avenue at Surfers Paradise when she fell at about 9.30pm on Thursday.

Police said the teenager was alone in the unit before she died and that there was no inappropriate behaviour on the balcony before the fall, they said.

The girl's devastated family have been informed and school leavers are being offered counselling.

Brisbanetimes.com.au reports the 17-year-old fell from a balcony on the 26th floor of the Chevron Renaissance's third tower onto the fifth floor pool deck.

''Everyone's devastated. Everyone wants to go home,'' Zara Simon told Fairfax Radio 4BC.

''I'm going home now. I'm trying to get my bag and we're going.

''We're supposed to be going home tomorrow, but no, most people are leaving today.

''Schoolies is supposed to be holiday, it's supposed to be fun, but someone died.

"It's terrible.''

Ms Simon said her friend, who saw the girl fall to her death, was ''pretty shaken up''.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate told the ABC the council would need to look at the issue of balcony access in light of the recent spate of deaths.

It was sixth death from a balcony fall on the Gold Coast in the past 12 months.

The pool deck of the Chevron Renaissance hotel.
The pool deck of the Chevron Renaissance hotel.

Assistant Commissioner Graham Rynders held a press conference Friday morning after visiting the devastated family of the teenager.

"It has been a very tragic night for all of us,'' he said.

"It's put a very dark cloud over what has been a very successful schoolies event.''

Mr Rynders said police knew of at least six witnesses to the the balcony fall and there were probably others.

"I'm sure there will be quite a number of people who have been terribly traumatised by this event.''

He said the teenager fell into a garden area near a pool.

There were reports that two girls on the pool deck witnessed the tragedy.

Police have appealed for anyone who may have seen what happened, or could provide an insight into the teenager's movements in the lead-up to the fall,  to contact them.

He said there had been continual warnings to schoolies about the dangers of balconies.

"It's always one of our greatest fears.''

"Our message has and always will be to be careful on these balconies and stay away from the rails.''

Mr Rynders said the family had asked for privacy in what was a very difficult time.

"We really need to respect their privacy. They are a very personal and private family.''

Topics:  balcony fall, death, gold coast, highrise, police, schoolies



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