POLICE take a 21-year-old man into custody.
POLICE take a 21-year-old man into custody. Tweed Daily News

Drunken revelling ends in tragedy

A YOUNG man has died in hospital after being injured in an alcohol-fuelled brawl in Coolangatta.

The 23-year-old northern NSW man suffered life threatening injuries in the early morning fight and was taken to The Tweed Hospital in a critical condition.

He died about 6pm last night.

A 21-year-old Elanora man has been charged with grievous bodily harm over the incident and was due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court today, but it is understood police could upgrade the charge.

The incident occurred outside the Big Chief Burgers takeaway food outlet on Griffith Street just before 3am.

At least 10 people were involved in the fight and six have since been interviewed, police said.

Police were also taking statements from a number of witnesses yesterday.

A Queensland Police spokesman said he couldn't provide any further details about the injuries suffered by the man, but it is understood witnesses told police the victim was king-hit and fell to the ground.

A resident who lives close to the scene, but who did not want to be named, said there was a gathering of about 15 people outside the food shop.

Most of the group were young men but there were also a couple of females, he said.

“I heard all the commotion and looked out the window and saw a guy lying on the ground,” he said.

“The police were there and they were doing a good job.

“They were trying to break things up. People were still trying to fight while this guy was lying on the ground.

“I could hear chicks screaming until about four in the morning.”

The man said he often leaves his television on to drown out the sounds of drunken revellers on Coolangatta's streets.

“It's every weekend.

“It hurts me to see it, so I just closed the blinds and went back to bed.”

Griffith Street was blocked from northbound traffic between Warner Street and McLean Street until about 9.30am yesterday, while forensics police officers examined the crime scene.

Workers at Griffith Street businesses told the Tweed Daily News that Big Chief Burgers recently commenced late-night trading, keeping its doors until 3am on Saturdays and Sundays.

They said fights regularly broke out at the top end of the street on weekends, once the nightclubs had closed.

At the time of going to press, no further details about the victim have been released.

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