Charlotte boy’s death at Atlanta hotel not first freak fatal accident at that Westin

Updated: Apr. 16, 2017 at 2:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - A 5-year-old Charlotte boy's death in the workings of a rotating Atlanta restaurant is not the first strange and fatal accident to have occurred at that hotel site.

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As news of Charlie Holt's death spread across social media this weekend, posters on Twitter recalled that 13 months ago, a kitchen worker at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel was found dead in a walk-in freezer.

Carolyn Robinson, 61, who worked for the company for more than 35 years, died after some how getting locked in a walk-in freezer just after 8 p.m. March 22, it was reported.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution later reported Robinson "died slow and alone in the depths of a downtown Atlanta hotel kitchen, and for that her former employer must pay a $12,000 fine," assessed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a "serious" violation.

A citation over the incident said Robinson was exposed to "entrapment hazards" while working in freezer and that the employer failed to ensure the exit door remained "unobstructed/unrestricted," reported the Journal-Constitution.

Charlie Holt's death at the same hotel has become national news, due in part to the bizarre circumstances.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution says Charlie was visiting the rotating Sun Dial restaurant with his parents when he got caught between a wall and a table as the dining area rotated shortly after 3 p.m., Atlanta police said. The restaurant revolves atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza.

Charlie's family, who were reportedly not staying at the hotel itself, had been at a window seat, but the boy wandered away from the table, it was reported. The rotating floor shut off automatically when the boy was stuck.

The boy, who reportedly played on a preschool soccer team, died of his injuries later Friday at an Atlanta hospital. His family later released a statement: "The family asks for prayers and privacy right now to come to terms with this tragedy. No words can express their loss. If you have a loved one, please give them an extra hug today."

A family spokesman said Sunday morning via email that the parents "are asking for privacy at this point. As you can imagine, it was a horrific accident."