Teenager killed after window fall
Friday 22 April 2011
A 14-year-old boy has fallen to his death from the sixth floor of a tower block after opening his bedroom window to look out.
The accident was discovered when Jovanni Peddie's eight-year-old brother looked out the window afterwards and spotted him lying on a second floor balcony beneath, his family said.
The schoolboy, who dreamed of becoming an architect, was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, police said.
His distraught aunt, Cherry Peddie, described his death as a "tragedy" and blamed it on faulty windows at the south London estate he lived on.
A GCSE pupil at Westminster City School, Jovanni was on his Easter holidays when the accident happened on Wednesday afternoon in Missenden block on the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth.
"He was a lovely boy: bright, intelligent, he wanted to be an architect when he left school," Ms Peddie, 43, said.
"He was happy, bubbly and religious. The family knows he has gone to the Lord."
His parents, Luanda, 33, who works in administration, and Tony, 42, a mature psychology student at Southwark College, were devastated, she added.
"They are very tearful," she said. "They don't think it's real, they think it's a dream. You hear stories about this sort of thing but you never expect it to happen on your doorstep."
Jovanni's parents, three younger brothers aged eight, three and two, and five-month-old sister were moving out of their flat into temporary accommodation today, Ms Peddie said.
The boy's fall from the window was an accident waiting to happen, she added.
"Children are curious, they just want to look out the window," she said. "But it's not adequately secured.
"A number of people have fallen before. Lessons need to be learned."
Jovanni's younger brother was said to be in an "awful state" after discovering the incident.
A post-mortem examination has been carried out, with the results expected to show that Jovanni died of multiple injuries.
Metropolitan Police are investigating.
A spokesman said: "We were called at 12.40pm on Wednesday to reports of a 14-year-old boy falling from a sixth-floor balcony at a block of flats in Inville Road, SE17.
"The 14-year-old landed on a second-floor balcony. He was taken to King's College hospital and pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
"Next of kin have been informed."
London Ambulance Service were also called to the scene, deploying two ambulance crews, a responder in a car, an officer and an air ambulance.
A spokesman said: "There was one patient believed to be a teenage boy who had stopped breathing.
"Extensive efforts were made to resuscitate him at the scene and on the way to hospital."
A spokesman for Southwark Council, which owns the tower block, said: "This is a tragic case and our thoughts are with the family.
"The police are investigating the cause of death and we will do all we can to help the family at this difficult time."
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