Man jumps to death from airport terminal balcony on holiday with girlfriend and one-year-old daughter
Relatives of the 30-year-old British father revealed that this was his first family holiday trip and he had reportedly waited three days for a flight home after he lost his ticket
A man fell 50ft from a ledge at a Turkish airport and died. Witnesses at the scene claimed that he "wanted it to end." 30-year-old Andrew Westlake was rushed to a hospital from Dalaman airport in south-west Turkey where he was pronounced dead shortly after.
While earlier reports suggested that he had plunged 15 feet out of a plane door, witnesses claimed that it was not the case. Westlake reportedly waited three days for a flight home after he "lost his ticket."
Relatives of the British father revealed that this was his first family holiday with his one-year-old daughter and his partner. Earlier on the day of his death, the 30-year-old was allegedly removed from a Jet2 flight.
In a conversation with ChronicleLive, 67-year-old Pauline Butler, Westlake's aunt, revealed that his mother June is "heartbroken and barely able to speak."
Butler had only good words to say about Westlake. She mentioned how he doted on his daughter and that this was their first family holiday together. She even felt he had "really settled down" since his daughter was born. Westlake absolutely idolized his little girl. He would do anything for her, she added.
The family had reportedly been given conflicting reports from authorities in Turkey.
Just spoken to Andrew Westlake’s family. They’ve asked for CCTV footage from airport. They’ve already been told they have to pay for a £9k hospital bill. https://t.co/Fzu7UhGgRK— Fiona Trott (@bbcfionatrott) May 30, 2018
They have even been told that Andrew did not even board the plane and could have fallen to his death from a building. Commenting on this Butler added, "It’s just not fair on the family. Really it’s diabolical that we are having to piece things together ourselves."
Butler's husband, a 67-year-old police officer said that the details around Westlake's death were "sketchy" and that the family was appealing for anyone on the flight to get in touch with them as they "were not getting answers" from authorities.
During a conversation with The Mirror, a 29-year-old Watford woman said that the incident happened on Tuesday inside the terminal at 3.30 am. She claimed that they tried to help him after he crashed into a glass barrier in order to "jump over a balcony." She was on her way back to Stansted with her partner and three children.
The witness said: "My partner watched him stand back up and he backed away from the barrier and then just ran for it and hopped over straight down onto the floor below."
She added: "When my partner helped him up he looked so sad and lost. The image that my partner still has in his head is the man looking so desperate."
A 23-year-old woman from Hertfordshire said that her partner tried to help the distressed father after his fall along with an employee working for Thomas Cook Airlines. She said: "When we spoke to the airline representative who went down there, she said that he was saying to her that he just wanted it to end."
Another eyewitness named Long said that Westlake was in a disheveled state, with his clothes dirty as ever and looking like he "had been having a bad time." Talking to Daily Mail, a British passenger who was present at the busy Dalaman airport with the daughter and partner said she saw Westlake lying on the floor.
"I saw him lying on the floor below," she said. "I screamed for someone to help him and the staff inside the airport came over. There was an airport doctor who treated him while he was laying there."
The news of his death was confirmed by staff at the Clayton Glass manufacturers in Stanley, County Durham, where Westlake worked.
30 y/o British man dies falling from a plane on to a runway at Dalaman airport in south-west Turkey. Reports staff were trying to remove the man when he fell from a door. The unconscious passenger was taken to hospital & found to have broken ribs. He never regained consciousness pic.twitter.com/lPQtsX4bjE— Zora Suleman (@ZoraSuleman) May 30, 2018
"We were informed by a member of the family that he had died while on holiday," said a worker at Clayton Glass. "We cannot say anything further."
At around 3 am local time, Westlake allegedly got into an argument with cabin crew in the flight that he had boarded back to the UK, according to Turkish local media.
Reportedly, the captain of the flight ordered his crew to escort Westlake off the flight after deeming him dangerous to other passengers aboard. Westlake, who was unconscious at the time of arrival at the hospital, had broken ribs as a result of the fall, medical authorities said.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Turkey and are in touch with the local authorities." Law enforcement authorities in Turkey are have since launched an investigation into the tragic death.
Westlake had earlier run-ins with the law and had even attempted to kill himself at the time but had reportedly sobered down after the birth of his daughter. Court records show that Westlake was imprisoned five years ago for 18 months after he threatened his own family. Westlake reportedly had a "history of alcohol abuse."
Durham Crown Court was told that after breaking up with his girlfriend at the time, Westlake arrived at this mother's house "extremely drunk and upset." Before going out to drink, he had allegedly made threats against his ex on the phone.
During this situation when his mother's partner tried to calm him down, Westlake swore at her and she subsequently slapped him across the face. He even attacked his mother when she tried to intervene. Witnessing the argument, a 13-year-old boy, who was the son of Westlake's partner, felt threatened and climbed out of a window upstairs, immediately calling law enforcement.
Upon arrival at his mother's residence, cops found that Westlake had stabbed himself twice in the stomach and was lying on the kitchen floor.
Michael Hodson, the lawyer who was representing Westlake at the time, claimed that his client had since made things right with his partner following the incident on February 13 and was full of remorse.
Christopher Prince, the judge presiding over the case, told Westlake at the time: "This was a quite terrifying incident for those involved, not least due to your size.
"You have a history of abuse of alcohol and in this case, you were completely out of control."