PHUKET – Mystery still surrounds the death of a Berkeley man who fell from a balcony on the Thai island of Phuket on Monday afternoon.
Joshua Smits, 24, died in a Phuket hospital on Monday night after reportedly leaping from a third-floor balcony at a new hotel in Patong.
Phuket Wan, a tourism news site, reported yesterday that Mr Smits (pictured) startled onlookers when he ran through the street, up the stairs, into the room and jumped off the balcony.
A maid, who was making up a room at the guesthouse about 2pm, witnessed the incident.
The site reported Joshua had ‘‘attracted attention’’ as he ran half-naked down Sai Nam Yen Road, turned up Soi Bowling, ran up the stairs to the third floor and leapt from the balcony.
Joshua suffered head injuries in the leap but the cause of death is thought to be a heart attack. There has been no explanation for his behavior.
He was rushed to Patong Hospital and later transftered to Vachira Hospital in Phuket City, where he died around midnight.
Joshua had been holidaying in Phuket with a group of friends.
It is understood he was set to return home on Friday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading confirmed the man’s death yesterday.
Consular officials are now providing assistance to Joshua’s family.
Tributes poured in yesterday as dozens of friends took to Joshua’s Facebook page to remember their mate.
One friend wrote: ‘‘R.I.P Joshy Smits; one of kind [sic]; always knew how to make you laugh and smile miss you and will never forget you!’’ while another posted: ‘‘RIP JoJoshy Smits – you are a beautiful young man, and I truly believe you made the world smile. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.’’
In Thailand, the ground floor is considered to be the first floor so in many other countries the balcony would be categorised as being on the second floor.