Shropshire Star

Family pay tribute to 12-year-old boy killed in SnowDome tragedy

The family of a 12-year-old boy who died after being seriously injured at an indoor skiing venue have paid tribute to their "pride, joy and love".

Louis also played saxophone - having reached grade 5

Louis Watkiss, from Sutton Coldfield, died on September 24 after an incident during an activity at the SnowDome in Tamworth.

His devastated family have today paid tribute to Louis, as well as releasing two new photos of him playing his saxophone and wearing his Chelsea football kit.

In a statement, the family said: "Louis was a son, a brother, a grandson, a cousin and a friend.

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

Louis Watkiss supported Chelsea and England

"Reaching grade 5 at saxophone through the Royal Academy of Music, his involvement in two jazz ensembles demonstrated his passion for music.

"Louis supported Chelsea and England football clubs and followed England Cricket and Birmingham Bears, regularly watching both sports. Along with cheering on AJ and Tyson Fury for their big heavyweight fights.

“We are so thankful George had five happy years with his brother, and he will hold dear the memory of Louis' stoic personality. We are eternally grateful for the honour of knowing Louis and the pleasure of raising him.

“With Louis' passing, we remind others that his life is one to be celebrated; although we will miss him every day, especially his winning smile, Louis will remain forever in our hearts.

“We love Louis very much. Our pride. Our joy. Our love.

"We miss him so much it hurts.”

Louis Watkiss from Sutton Coldfield has been named as the 12-year-old who lost his life after an accident at the Snow Dome in Tamworth. Photo: Staffordshire Police

The family are currently being supported by specially-trained officers from Staffordshire Police – who have urged everyone to let the family grieve in private.

Staffordshire Police is continuing to investigate the circumstances with support from the Health and Safety Executive.

The SnowDome has remained closed since Louis' death to allow the authorities to continue their investigation.

Martin Smith, chairman of SnowDome Ltd, has said the centre will cooperate fully with investigators.

Last month the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) served a notice on the venue to put in place systems “to manage the risk of collision”.

The HSE had “served a Prohibition Notice on Snowdome Limited, which prevents the use of the parts of the venue, until (the) HSE is satisfied that systems in place to manage the risk of collision are suitable to address any ongoing risk to the safety of visitors and employees”.

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