'She was planning her 18th birthday': Teen plunged 4 storeys to death in prank gone tragically wrong, states inquest
Teenager Danielle Maragh plunged 4 storeys down headfirst to her death in a prank that went tragically and horribly wrong
Danielle Maragh had climbed through a ceiling skylight when she plunged headfirst from the roof of her family home only three days after she celebrated her 17th birthday, heard the inquest into her untimely death. The student had been revising for her driving theory test in the attic room which she shared with her sister Shauna when the tragedy took place on April 9.
The coroner ruled on September 4 that Danielle was attempting to stage a prank using her sister's iPhone and fell. She was discovered unresponsive by her father Charles Maragh who could only detect Danielle's breathing by putting his hand in her mouth. Paramedics were called at around 8:58 pm but Danielle was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:33 pm. Charles told the St. Pancras Coroner's Court that his daughter's room had a skylight window which Danielle would have needed a ladder to get access to.
Senior Coroner for Inner North London, Mary Hassell, read Shauna's statement which said that she had left her phone on the pillow of her bed with Danielle in the room as she went downstairs to do some chores. According to PC Brian Simmons' statement, a "rope search team" discovered Shauna's phone when they examined the roof of the home six days after Danielle's death.
The coroner added that the post-mortem examination stated that Danielle's cause of death was due to "severe traumatic head injury" which resulted in the tragic and accidental death.
Charles Maragh told the inquest, "She was quite happy in life, always doing stuff. She never missed a day at school. She was just a normal teenager really. That day she was quite excited because she was getting a provisional license. She didn't even want to come out with us for lunch because she wanted to stay at home to study her theory."
Deborah Maragh, Danielle's auntie shared in a statement, "I would describe Danielle as a normal, happy go lucky teenager. She was happy and was planning her 18th birthday. There seemed to be nothing wrong with her; if she had a problem she couldn't talk to her dad about, she could always come to me."
Hassell also shared, "What I have heard is that, just in the way of teenagers, she and her sister used to play jokes on each other and hide their things, for example, their phones. And, very significantly, after Danielle's death, her sister's phone was found on the roof. It seems to me that all of the evidence points in the same direction which is that she was just playing a prank on her sister that went horribly wrong."
"It's such an innocent joke that she was trying to play, and it just had the most awful consequences. I think it was the work of the moment but she slipped and she fell to the ground below. Given her injuries that she had, I'm sure that she would have lost consciousness immediately and she would have been unaware thereafter," Hassell continued, recording Danielle's death as a "tragic accident".