Tributes flow for US tourist in Queenstown ‘fall’

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UPDATED: Queenstown police believe a United States tourist who died in Dunedin Hospital on Tuesday suffered ”significant” injuries by falling into the same alleyway where an English tourist died similarly six years ago.

He was Corey Richard Docherty, 22, a student from Marblehead, Massachusetts.

He graduated from Roger Williams University last year with a bachelor of science degree in management.

Detective Lisa Watt, of Queenstown, says police are investigating Mr Docherty’s death on behalf of the coroner and initial indications are he has fallen.

He was found semiconscious with “significant” head and spinal injuries in an alleyway beside Loco Cantina and Base Discovery Lodge about 9.30am last Friday.

The Otago Daily Times understands he was also hypothermic.

St John South Island Region communications adviser Ian Henderson says an ambulance was called to the Shotover St site at 9.31am and transported Mr Docherty, listed as being in a “moderate condition”, to Lakes District Hospital.

Later that day he was flown to Dunedin Hospital.

Senior Constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, says he believes Mr Docherty died of a stroke on Tuesday.

His death had been referred to the coroner.

A Base Discovery Lodge spokeswoman says she’s unable to comment because of the police investigation.

A memorial page set up on Facebook had almost 400 likes by yesterday afternoon.

“Only the good die young … In this case only the great,” one person says.

“An incredible spirit loved and touched by everyone he met. A tribute to his family. We are lucky he was a part of our lives … RIP Corey.”

A ‘Give Forward’ page, set up after news of his accident spread, had raised more than $15,000 to go towards medical costs for “one of the best, most lovable and adventurous guys that one could know: Corey ‘Dickey Doc’ Docherty”.

In June 2009, a 25-year-old English tourist was found dead in the same alleyway.

During the inquest for James Patrick Smith, of Bromley, the coroner heard he had gone to the rear of the alleyway after being asked to leave the Altitude bar (now Loco), climbed a fire escape to the top floor of the lodge and attempted to climb on to the roof before falling 9.6m to his death.

His blood-alcohol level was 234mg – almost three times the legal driving limit.

In 2008, Invercargill electrician Shaun Bernard Hogan, 24, fell to his death at the Glebe Apartments after gaining access to the courtyard and climbing to the roof after a night of drinking in the resort.

James Teague, 19, also died at the Glebe last year, after falling from a balcony on to a concrete car park in July.

Less than a month later, a 42-year-old Australian tourist was seriously injured after falling 4m from a stair balustrade at the Steamer Wharf.

Otago Daily Times