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‘I laid with my 12-year-old son before he died in ski tragedy and told him how much I loved him’

THE dad of boy killed in a collision at a ski slope has described how him and his wife held their 12-year-old son as he lay dying.

Louis Watkiss died at the indoor ski centre SnowDome in Tamworth, Staffordshire during a tobogganing party with friends.

It is understood the youngster collided with a skier during a "freak accident" at the popular attraction.

His parents Chris and Natalie Watkiss were at home on September 24 when they got a call to say Louis had been hurt during

Heartbroken Chris said that when they arrived at the ski centre they imagined his injuries would amount to no more than a broken arm.

But he told the BBC it was "a very nerve-wracking walk” with paramedics up the slope to where Louis was.

"There was a lot of blood and within a few minutes he was pronounced dead in front of me,” he said.

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

Chris revealed that as Louis lay dying, he “stroked his hair, kissed him a few times, held his hand”.

“I said ‘I’ll kind of go and get your mum. We’ll be back, I’ll be back’.

“They gave us some privacy, which was nice, and we both laid with him for 20, 30 minutes each hold a hand and stroking his hair, just kissing him.”

He said they “just wanted to be as close as we could to him for as long as we could, because his last moments were just there”.

Louis was a talented musician who played saxophone in jazz ensembles and a Chelsea supporting sports fanatic, who also loved cricket.

After his death, Louis’ parents described him as “our pride, our joy, our love”, adding that they “miss him so much it hurts”.

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

Chris Watkiss

The couple are working with their local MP Andrew Mitchell for there to be a change in the law to make helmets compulsory during similar activities.

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

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

"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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