Louis Watkiss: Parents held son as he died in SnowDome crashon December 2, 2021 at 6:39 am

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Louis Watkiss, 12, was pronounced dead in front of his father minutes after he arrived at the scene.

Louis Watkiss

Image source, Family

The parents of a boy killed in a collision at an indoor ski slope have spoken of how they held him as he died.

Twelve-year-old Louis Watkiss, from Sutton Coldfield, died at the Tamworth SnowDome in Staffordshire in September.

Parents Chris and Natalie Watkiss were at home when they got a call to say Louis had been hurt during a tobogganing party with friends.

The couple are now calling for a change in the law to make helmets compulsory during similar activities.

Louis Watkiss

Image source, Family handout

“I never thought to tell him to be careful,” Mr Watkiss told BBC Radio WM.

Even after seeing an air ambulance outside the venue as he arrived following the call to say Louis had been hurt, he could not imagine an injury worse than a broken arm, he said.

Following paramedics up the slope towards Louis was “a very nerve-wracking walk”, he said.

“There was a lot of blood and within a few minutes he was pronounced dead in front of me.

“I laid with him for a bit, told him he was a good boy and how much I loved him,” he said.

Mrs Watkiss was then able to join him and they lay together with him, holding a hand each for about half an hour.

Louis Watkiss

Image source, Family handout

The family are now working with their local MP, Andrew Mitchell, to change the law to make helmets mandatory.

Since Louis died, tobogganing has been banned at the SnowDome until the Health and Safety Executive is satisfied risks can be managed.

The SnowDome said it was continuing to work with Staffordshire Police to investigate what happened.

In a statement, Tamworth SnowDome said: “Everyone here is still profoundly shocked and saddened by Louis’s death, and our thoughts remain very much with his grieving family.

“This loss of a young life is an absolute tragedy. We have been giving our full-co-operation to the investigation being conducted by the authorities.”

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