Friends of a Japanese woman who plunged from a building into a busy laneway say they regret not asking her if she was okay before she died.
Akiko Kiryu, 52, fell to her death in a lane between StarChem Pharmacy and Hungry Jack’s on The Corso at Manly, in Sydney’s northern beaches, at 11.20am on Saturday.
Devastated friends said they were shocked by the sudden death as they described Ms Kiryu as a ‘happy and smiling’ person.
One said they wished they had checked in on her mental health.
‘Very sad news today that our lovely friend Akiko has passed away,’ they wrote on Facebook. ‘Only if we had asked her “are you okay”!’
Ms Kiryu was living without family after moving from Japan. Residents say she created her own kind of family after living in the community for 30 years.
Ms Kiryu worked behind the register at Coles and regularly ran a crepe stall at the Manly markets.
Friends of a Japanese woman who plunged from a building into a busy laneway say they regret not asking her if she was okay before she fell to her death
Devastated friends said they were shocked by the sudden death as they described Ms Kiryu as a ‘happy and smiling’ person
Akiko Kiryu, 52, fell to her death in a lane between StarChem Pharmacy and Hungry Jacks on The Corso at Manly, in Sydney’s northern beaches, at 11.20am on Saturday
‘We used to work at the same company and we were a part of the Japanese community,’ one friend told Daily Telegraph. ‘She was a lovely woman.’
‘She’s been here in Manly for about 30 years. She had a food stall at the market whenever it was open.’
Another person added they were shocked by the death as they remembered Ms Kiryu as a ‘happy and smiling’ person.
A Gofundme page has been set up to help raise money and pay for the funeral costs. Ms Kiryu’s ashes will then be sent back to her home country to be reunited with her family.
‘She doesn’t have family here, so us group of friends are organising a funeral at North Ryde and her ashes will be sent to Japan from Sydney,’ the page reads.
‘We plan to livestream the funeral for her loved ones in Japan and those unable to come to the funeral due to COVID restrictions.’
Bouquets of flowers and tribute cards written in several languages were piled along the alley way between The Corso and Rialto Lane over the weekend as mourners visited the site to pay their respects.
Married At First Sight star Dean Wells, who was a friend of the woman, shared a touching tribute on Instagram as he called for Australians to respect people’s decisions to remain unvaccinated.
‘She was a sane, intelligent, lovely, completely normal person who did not believe in being forced to get a jab,’ he wrote on Monday.
‘No matter what your stance, there are many people in the community that are feeling pressured by mandates, losing their livelihood, being segregated from the rest of society and more.
Ms Kiryu worked behind the register at Coles and regularly ran a crepe stall at the Manly markets
Police officers taped off the alley way between The Corso and Rialto Lane as they launched an investigation
Flowers have been piled along the laneway where she died as mourners visited the site over the weekend
Notes written in English and Japanese have been laid at the site for the woman, who is understood to be a foreign national
‘This madness has to end. We need to accept people’s choices and have understanding and compassion for everyone. Not just those who have the same views as us. R.I.P.’
The young woman’s mate Dean Wells, of Married at First Sight fame
Covid vaccines are very effective at stopping deaths and hospitalisations, with a study of 3.4million Americans finding Pfizer is 95 per cent effective at preventing serious illness.
A similar study of AstraZeneca in the UK found the Oxford vaccine is 80 per cent effective at preventing severe sickness in Covid-19 patients.
While some Australians remain hesitant to get the jab, the majority of NSW residents are fully vaccinated.
As of Tuesday, 75.2 per cent of over 16s across the state had received both doses, while 90.8 per cent have had one shot of a vaccine.
NSW Police taped off the scene on Saturday as they launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious.
A report is being prepared for the Coroner.
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NSW Police initially set up a crime scene before deeming her death non-suspicious following an investigation