The hammock where the two were sitting. Picture: 7 News
The hammock where the two were sitting. Picture: 7 News

Aussie crushed to death in hammock collapse

A Perth man has died and his girlfriend rushed to hospital after the hammock they were sitting in was crushed by a collapsed brick pillar.

Jake East, 22, was at a Christmas party at his girlfriend's Carley Kempton's house in the Perth suburb of Subiaco on Saturday night when the two sat in the backyard hammock.

The hammock had been hung between a palm tree and a brick pillar, one of three used to support a backyard pergola.

Jake East and his girlfriend Carley Kempton. Picture: Facebook
Jake East and his girlfriend Carley Kempton. Picture: Facebook

In what's been described as a freak accident, the weight in the hammock caused the pillar to collapse, leaving the couple crushed underneath dozens of heavy bricks.

It's understood Mr East was hit the hardest and was left with horrific internal injuries from the impact.

 

Jake East tragically died from the column.
Jake East tragically died from the column.

 

Friends of the couple called triple-0 just after 12.30am on Saturday with paramedics taking just six minutes to reach them.

Mr East and Ms Kempton, both 22-year-old uni students, were rushed to Royal Perth Hospital but Mr East didn't make it through surgery due to severe internal injuries.

Police attended the Subiaco property, which Ms Kempton rented with two friends, over the weekend and examined the pillar.

A piece of wood is being temporarily used to prop up the side of the pergola.

Police investigated the collapsed column. Picture: Channel 7
Police investigated the collapsed column. Picture: Channel 7

 

A piece of wood stands where the pillar used to be. Picture: 7 News
A piece of wood stands where the pillar used to be. Picture: 7 News

Neighbour Ben Reynolds told 9 News he'd heard a "loud bang" about 2am but when he walked outside to investigate, there was only silence.

"I knew they were having a Christmas party or whatever from 8 o'clock onwards, and then from midnight I heard a loud noise and the music was turned off," Mr Reynolds said.

A number of Mr East's friends have paid tribute to the beloved physiotherapy student online.

Ms Kempton has spent the past two nights in hospital as doctors work to make sure the collapse didn't leave her with spinal injuries.

WA Police is investigating the incident.

In 2009, a three-year-old boy was killed at a holiday home on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth, when a brick column collapsed on him.

Thomas Brasier was playing in a hammock, attached to the pillar, with other children when it collapsed and crushed him underneath it.

A coronial inquest into Thomas's death found the brick pillar had been poorly constructed and had been built without a steel rod in the middle to steady the column.

The pillar supporting the hammock at the Subiaco house appeared to have been without a steel rod in the middle.



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