Family's tribute to tragic student

A STUDENT from Suffolk has died after apparently falling through the skylight of a shop during a night out.

Brad Jones

THE heartbroken family of a young student who died when he fell through the skylight of a shop after “partying” with friends have paid an emotional tribute to him.

Alex Richardson, 21, suffered serious brain injuries in the fall which took place near the prestigious St Andrews University in Scotland where he was a student.

The student, whose family live in Newmarket, was originally released from hospital but his condition deteriorated within hours and he slipped into a coma. His life-support machine was turned off on Thursday - 48 hours after the tragic accident.

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His family, including his dad Chris - the managing director of the renowned Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket - yesterday poignantly spoke of how they wished they could “rewind time”.

Mr Richardson, his wife Annie and their daughter Emma, had travelled from Suffolk and were with him in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, when he died.

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The family said: “Alex was a fun-loving character with a great appetite for life and he just loved St Andrews - he had the happiest time of his life here.

“He had so many friends here who have been such a wonderful support to us. It has been a great comfort to us that he was surrounded by his closest friends during this hugely difficult time and we are very grateful to them, to the university and to the university chaplain, Jamie Walker, for everything they have done.

“It is simply impossible to describe how deeply we feel his tragic loss and how much we will miss him. We all wish we could rewind time.”

Police said Mr Richardson, who is in his third year studying French and Spanish, had been “partying” with friends when the tragic accident occurred in a shop close to the university.

The circumstances leading up to the accident are unclear but it is thought Mr Richardson crashed through the window at the Home Improvements Mica Homestore.

He was initially treated and released from hospital on Wednesday but within hours, his condition deteriorated and he fell unconscious.

Mark Ling, media relations officer at Fife Constabulary, told the EADT: “The police were called at about 11pm to a shop in South Street, opposite the university campus, to a report that a man had fallen through the skylight.

“He was released from hospital on Wednesday lunchtime but that night he collapsed into a coma. He had suffered serious brain injuries. We have carried out inquiries and are satisfied there was no foul play.”

Dr Louise Richardson, the university's principal and vice-chancellor, said: “Alex was a bright and very popular student who was much loved by his family and friends.

“We send our sincere condolences to Alex's parents Chris and Annie and his sister Emma at this enormously difficult time.”

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