A family dinner ended in horrible tragedy as 5-year-old Charlie Holt died after his head was crushed at the Sun Dial restaurant in Georgia. Now, his distraught parents are suing the restaurant over negligence!
How utterly blood-chilling, to think that a couple watched as their 5-year-old boy was crushed to death right in front of them. That, sadly, was the fate of young Charlie Holt. The precious child died on April 14, after his head became stuck between wall and a rotating mechanism at Sun Dial restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. His heartbroken parents filed a lawsuit against the restaurant on Nov. 15, claiming negligence led to their baby boy’s tragic death. “The Sun Dial had no protections to stop children from getting close to the pinch point or to stop the rotation of the floor if a child became trapped in the pinch point,” the lawsuit states, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Charlie and his parents – Rebecca and Michael Holt – were visiting from Charlotte, North Carolina when they ate at the Sun Dial restaurant, atop the 73-floor Westin Peachtree Hotel. Atlanta police say the boy wanted away from their table, a claim the family denies. “The family was leaving the restaurant together after paying their bill,” Joe Fried, attorney for the Holts, told The AJC. “They were walking to the exit, following the same path that the hostess used to walk them to their table and that they used to walk to and from the restroom earlier. Charlie was only a few steps ahead.” Joe says the path was blocked when a booth rotated near a stationary interior wall, trapping Charlie.
“By the time someone could manually stop the rotation, it was too late,” Joe said. “Charlie’s head had been pulled into the narrow pinch point and he suffered catastrophic head trauma — right in front of his parents.” Westin’s security staff and employees freed the child, but he would die later at the Grady Memorial Hospital from a crushed skull. The Holt family’s lawsuit claims there was no guard to prevent people from getting trapped, no emergency stop button on the wall or an automatic safety cutoff to prevent such horrible accidents like this.
“We heard a bunch of screams and people yelling and we didn’t know what was going on,” Gustavo Anzola, who was dining at the restaurant during the freak accident, told The AJC. “We didn’t know if it was a robbery or someone with a gun.” The eyewitness said that “It was only his head stuck, nothing else. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
“Charlie Holt was the sweetest, most accepting and lovable child who had a hug for everyone,” his family said in a statement, per the Charlotte Observer. “He never met a person or an animal whom he did not immediately love. Everyone was his friend. His thirst for knowledge and adventure was infectious. Everyone so loved sweet little Charlie.”
The family is also suing Marriott International, Inc., which owns the Westin Peachtree Hotel and the Sun Dial restaurant, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, LLC. “Due to the pending litigation, we are not commenting on the matter,” Jeff Flaherty , a spokesperson for Marriott International, Inc., told The AJC in an email. The family is seeking unspecified punitive damages and a trial.
Our thoughts are with Charlie’s family during their time of loss.