Friends of teenager Kieran Jones continued to pay their tributes yesterday – as it emerged he was due to fly home from Australia next month.
The 18-year-old, a former pupil at Millfield Science and Performing Arts College in Thornton, died in the early hours of Saturday after falling from a high-rise balcony in Sydney.
His mum Tracey Jones, 50, told a national newspaper: “He was on a gap year and he was due to come home next month.
“He had started a new job and moved into the apartment with a few others, before that he was in hostels.”
Mrs Jones also thanked well-wishers for their kind words, and for cards and flowers the family has received.
“They are much appreciated,” she added.
Police launched an investigation after the weekend’s accident, but say Kieran’s death was not thought to be suspicious.
Officers believe it may be the result of ‘misadventure’.
Karen Connelly said she was ‘devastated’ to hear of the accident, and said she ‘cannot begin to imagine the pain’ his family must be going through.
“Kieran was such a lovely, kind, funny young lad and we have such fond memories of him coming to our house to see Josh and the laughs they had together. A shining light has gone out.”
Kieran’s body is set to be repatriated after police in Sydney finish their investigation into his death, which happened after a night out with his new flatmates.
They tried to give him CPR after he fell from the 18th floor and landed in a courtyard below, Acting Inspector Peter Northey told Australia’s Daily Telegraph.
He said: “They had gone to their apartment and he was chilling on the balcony and the next thing they know, they’ve heard a noise and saw him fall.
“The flatmate who saw it happen has raised the alarm and they’ve all run down and one has begun CPR.
“At this stage it is very early in the investigation, but we are thinking misadventure.
“He had been consuming alcohol earlier in the night, but we don’t know his level of intoxication.”
Millfield headteacher Sean Bullen ‘indicated the staff all remembered Kieran as a model student, extremely well behaved and hard working’, he said in a statement.
“He was interested in computers, music and football. He was very popular with both staff and students, and our sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.”