Friends have paid tribute to a “beautiful soul” after the 19-year-old tourist who fell from a Queenstown hotel balcony died on Saturday night.
The teenager was James Robert Teague, Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Dave Scott confirmed yesterday.
Teague, from Paddington, Sydney, in New South Wales, died about 11.40pm on Saturday in the company of family.
He was to celebrate his 20th birthday next month.
The teenager fell about 10m on to a concrete car park at The Glebe Apartments about 3am on Thursday. He was taken to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter .
Friends took to social media to express their grief and feelings of loss after his death.
“Sad news that James has passed away. A beautiful soul taken too soon,” one person posted on Twitter.
Another friend said he would “never be forgotten”.
“You impacted all of us so greatly. With your smile and your never-ending positive attitude everyone you met loved you. I miss you James Teague, you will live on through us.”
An avid rugby supporter, Teague was meant to watch his beloved Waratahs take on the Brumbies in a Super Rugby semifinal at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday night.
An announcement before the game paid tribute to Mr Teague. He died shortly after the Waratahs earned a place in this weekend’s final.
Teague played rugby for Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union’s third colts team.
Before the team played Sydney University on Saturday, Sydney University players lined the field and Eastern Suburbs ran on to the field while Flower of Scotland – a favourite song of Teague – played.
Eastern Suburbs director of rugby Hamish McCathie said Teague was a “very much loved player down at Easts”.
“It hasn’t been nice to have one of our own in that situation,” McCathie said.
“A lot of our guys have had a lot of emotions and a lot of thoughts for him.”
Teague was a “very popular player” within the club, he said.
He was educated at Scots College, in Sydney. Before the match Scots College senior chaplain Conrad Nixon said a prayer for Teague.
Snr Sgt Scott said Queenstown police had completed their scene investigation and the death had been referred to the coroner.
Teague’s family asked for privacy to grieve and did not wish to make a statement.
At the time of the incident, Teague was staying at the hotel with four friends.
The group had been drinking.
– Otago Daily Times