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Student, 25, died after hitting wooden post two days into ski holiday

PUBLISHED: 09:11 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:29 11 March 2020

William Lawes, from Wymondham, died after hitting a wooden post while skiing near the French Alps resort of Les Deux Alpes. Picture: Onevalefan/Wikipedia

William Lawes, from Wymondham, died after hitting a wooden post while skiing near the French Alps resort of Les Deux Alpes. Picture: Onevalefan/Wikipedia

Onevalefan/Wikipedia

A 25-year-old Norfolk man who died in an accident on the slopes in the French Alps careered into a wooden post after losing one of his skis, an inquest has heard.

William Lawes, from Wymondham, died at the scene of the accident at Les Deux Alpes ski resort, two days into his holiday. Picture: Google/Wurzeller/WikipediaWilliam Lawes, from Wymondham, died at the scene of the accident at Les Deux Alpes ski resort, two days into his holiday. Picture: Google/Wurzeller/Wikipedia

William Lawes, from Church Street, Wymondham, died on February 3 while skiing near the resort of Les Deux Alpes in Isere.

An inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich heard that medics fought for an hour to try to save the life of the Norwich-born student.

Mr Lawes, who was a student at Nottingham Trent University, was described as a good skier who had taken previous skiing holidays.

Les Deux Alpes ski resort in French Alps is popular with British tourists. Picture: Getty ImagesLes Deux Alpes ski resort in French Alps is popular with British tourists. Picture: Getty Images

The accident occured two days into a holiday at Les Deux Alpes with six friends.

The resort, which is near the famous L'Alpe-d'Huez, is popular with British tourists. It has the largest skiable glacier in Europe and is France's second oldest ski resort after Chamonix.

In a statement read at the inquest, his friend of 10 years Robert Hales said on February 3 the weather had been good and the group had skied in the morning stopping for lunch, but that Mr Lawes had not drunk any alcohol.

Yvonne Blake, area coroner for Norfolk, recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest of William Lawes from Wymondham. Picture Simon ParkinYvonne Blake, area coroner for Norfolk, recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest of William Lawes from Wymondham. Picture Simon Parkin

After lunch they had returned to the mountain and undertaken multiple runs down the ski slopes.

He said: 'We all stopped and had a chat then got going again so we had not built up a great speed.

'Will was about halfway down the run when one ski came off. He fell to the right and forward head first. He was probably travelling about 20mph. There was a post about 4ft out of the snow.

'One of our party described that Will was ejected into the air and into the snow, hitting the post.'

Mr Hales said that he was still breathing when the party sought help. 'Two medics were with us within 10 minutes and started CPR which they continued for an hour but Will died on the mountain,' he said.

After his death French media reported that Mr Lawes had been wearing a helmet when he hit the obstacle on the Piste des Fées, a ski run classed as 'red' for advanced intermediate skiers.

The inquest heard the medical cause of death was given as trauma from the result of a fall while skiing. Yvonne Blake, area coroner for Norfolk, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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