Singapore

Teen who died from fall in Orchard Central known to perform stunts

The teenager who fell to his death from the fourth-storey link bridge between Orchard Central and Orchard Gateway shopping malls had a history of performing daring stunts, the coroner heard yesterday.

An inquiry into the death of Jonathan Chow Hua Guang, 17, revealed that before his fatal fall, he had jumped from the second storey of buildings with his friend, Ruth Shamini Kumar, 16, for fun.

Investigation officer Lim Wei told State Coroner Marvin Bay that Ruth was with Jonathan when he fell on Feb 24.

Coroner Bay, who found the teenager's death to be a tragic misadventure, said Jonathan was known to be a keen skateboarder and a daring person.

Yesterday, Staff Sergeant Lim said Ruth and Jonathan were close friends.

The court heard there was no evidence that Jonathan, who was about to be enlisted for national service, was into parkour - an activity in which practitioners try to get from one point to another in the fastest way by jumping, climbing and vaulting.

The 1.74m tall teenager, who weighed 79kg, knew Ruth via Instagram and they regularly sent each other text messages.

On the day he died, Ruth said that when they reached the fourth-storey of Orchard Central, they began to discuss the notion of jumping over the railing, onto a ledge which was perpendicular to the bridge.

Coroner Bay said: "(Ruth) had initially entertained the idea of their jumping but then reconsidered, telling (Jonathan) that she was 'scared'. (He) proposed to perform the discussed feat alone, and asked (her) to take a video of him jumping over the railing, and onto the adjacent ledge."

Coroner Bay said the platform was made of calcium silicate board and was not intended for any load-bearing purpose.

Jonathan died after suffering severe head injuries and lacerations to his liver, kidney and lung. 
- THE STRAITS TIMES

OrchardCoroner's Inquiryteenager