Louis Watkiss: Family pay tribute to 12-year-old son fatally injured at indoor ski centre

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The family of Louis Watkiss, who died at an indoor ski centre last month, have paid tribute to the 12-year-old, saying they "miss him so much it hurts".

Louis, from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, died after being seriously injured at the SnowDome in Tamworth on 24 September.

Staffordshire Police have since launched an investigation involving the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the precise circumstances of what happened.

In a tribute, his family released two new photographs - one showing Louis playing the saxophone and another showing him wearing the shirt of his beloved Chelsea Football Club.

In the statement, his 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.

"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 (Anthony Joshua) and Tyson Fury for their big heavyweight fights."

They added: "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."

Visitors to the ski centre's website on Wednesday were still being told the site remained closed to the public, accompanied with a statement from management originally posted the day after the tragedy.

The statement from the centre's operators said: "The SnowDome is to remain temporarily closed following the tragic death of a child on Friday evening.

"The directors and staff are deeply shocked by what happened, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this terrible time."

It said management were cooperating fully with the investigation and the centre would reopen once investigators had completed their work.

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