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Family of boy, 12, killed in indoor ski smash say he ‘didn’t die on his terms’

Louis Watkiss, 12, from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, died after a collision at the SnowDome in Tamworth while attending a friend’s birthday party

Louis Watkiss died aged 12 after an incident at the SnowDome in Tamworth

A schoolboy who died following an accident at an indoor ski slope “did not die on his terms”, said his family.

The devastated loved ones of Louis Watkiss, who died at the SnowDome in Tamworth, West Midlands, said he had been attending a friend’s birthday party.

The 12-year-old collided with another skier at the activity centre on September 24 and was pronounced dead at around 6.40pm.

His family, from Sutton Coldfield, are now raising money to help investigate the circumstances surrounding his death, reports Birmingham Live.

They are also campaigning for a new law to ensure children are safe while participating at such venues.



Police outside the SnowDome following Louis’ death in September
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Image:

BPM Media)




In a heartfelt appeal, the Watkiss family said: “Louis Watkiss, 12-years-old, passed away on September 24, 2021, at a friend’s birthday party due to injuries sustained in an incident at the Snowdome, Tamworth.

“He never had a chance to fight for his life. He did not die on his terms.

“Our son, Louis, died as a young boy. He achieved his goal of making us proud and his dream of being proud of himself. Our lives will never be the same.

“We want to thank all of the emergency services and Snowdome staff who tried incredibly hard to save our son’s life.”



Louis collided with another skier at the indoor activity centre
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Image:

BPM Media)




Their statement continued: “We have decided to set up this GoFundMe page because Louis lost his life to a tragic incident that should never have occurred.

“We are asking for support to assist our family’s present and future needs to continue the investigation surrounding the circumstances of his death.

“In the future, we want to campaign to change or lobby for new law that ensure our children are safe when taking part in snow activities.”

The GoFundMe fundraising appeal has already reached around £3,000 of its £10,000 target and anyone wishing to donate can do so here.



Louis’ parents are now raising money to fund an investigation
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Image:

BPM MEDIA)






Louis loved sports and played the saxophone
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Image:

BPM MEDIA)




The emotional appeal said: “Louis was a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin and a friend.

“We are so thankful Louis’ younger brother had five happy years with Louis, and he will hold dear the memory of Louis’ stoic personality.

“Louis was a studious pupil who enjoyed learning showing immense curiosity about the world around him.

“He played the Saxophone in grade 5, achieving distinctions throughout his Royal Academy of Music exams.

“His involvement in two jazz ensembles – Birmingham Symphony Hall and Birmingham Conservatoire – demonstrated his passion for music.

“Louis supported Chelsea and England football clubs. He followed England Cricket and Birmingham Bears, regularly watching both sports.”

The family’s statement concluded and said: “We humbly ask that you can help in any way you can. Any help you can give is appreciated, whether financially or just sharing the story to bring justice for Louis and ensure that this cannot happen to another child.







“We are eternally grateful for the honour of knowing Louis and the pleasure of raising him. We love Louis very much. Our pride. Our joy. Our love. We miss him so much it hurts.

“Thank you so much for taking the time to read, share and support this.

The family are urging anyone who witnessed the incident who has yet to come forward to contact the police on 101 or via social media quoting reference 665 of 24 September.

The incident is currently being investigated by Staffordshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive.

To donate to the GoFundMe campaign, click here.


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