Parents of boy killed at Tamworth Snowdome held hands with him

Parents of boy, 12, who was killed in tragic tobogganing collision at Tamworth Snowdome tell how they lay down on the slope and held hands with him after he died

  • Louis Watkiss, from Sutton Coldfield, died at the popular ski facility in Tamworth
  • His parents were at home when they got a call to say that Louis had been hurt
  • They are calling for a change in the law to make helmets mandatory for minors

The parents of a boy who was killed in a tragic tobogganing collision at Tamworth Snowdome lay down on the slope and held hands with him after he died.

Louis Watkiss, 12, from Sutton Coldfield, died at the popular ski facility in Tamworth, Staffordshire, on September 24.

His 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 family are now calling for a change in the law to make helmets mandatory for minors during similar indoor snow activities.

Louis Watkiss (above), 12, from Sutton Coldfield, died at the popular ski facility in Tamworth, Staffordshire, in September

His 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 at Tamworth Snowdome (pictured) 

The family are now calling for a change in the law to make helmets mandatory during similar activities

Speaking to BBC Radio WM, Mr Watkiss said: ‘I never thought to tell him to be careful.’

He said that even after seeing an air ambulance outside the venue as he arrived he thought the worst case scenario for Louis would be a broken arm. 

Mr Watkiss followed paramedics up the slope towards Louis which he described as ‘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.’

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

Louis was a talented saxophone player reaching grade 5 through the Royal Academy of Music. 

Louis was a talented saxophone player reaching grade 5 through the Royal Academy of Music

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

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

His parents said: ‘These changes need to be made because Louis deserves a legacy.’

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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