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Lavenham: Brother’s tribute to snowboarder Mimi

Emily Watts has died after a snowboarding accident in the French Alps her family has said.

Emily Watts has died after a snowboarding accident in the French Alps her family has said.

A BROTHER has paid tribute to his talented sister who died following a horrific snowboarding accident in the French Alps.

Emily Watts, known as Mimi, fell head-first into a snowdrift and was stuck for around 45 minutes after the incident in Chamonix on Saturday.

By the time emergency crews arrived, the 26-year-old, from Bury Road, Lavenham, had suffered a cardiac arrest, prompting fears of brain damage.

Her parents, Nicky McAllister and Dominic Watts, along with her 27-year-old brother Rory and step-family, flew to France to be by her bedside but she passed away yesterday having been on a life support machine.

Mr Watts said: “The doctors informed us that she was slipping deeper in to a coma and there was nothing left that they could do for her.

“We are all deeply saddened by what has happened, which was just an extremely unlucky sequence of events.

“The world lost a bright shining star this week, but her memory will live on and continue to inspire us all.”

The family will be starting a charity in her name called “Good Story” with the aim of nurturing creative talent by helping young people find funding and advice to start up their own businesses.

“I hope we can extract some gains from it all,” he added. “Firstly that Mims’ death can teach us all to do what makes us happy every day, challenge convention and find humour in everything.”

“I also hope that through Good Story we manage to give other people the chance to succeed in life and earn an income from doing what they love to do.”

The former student of St Benedict’s Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds, had been working at the French resort for a few weeks.

Mr Watts said: “Sadly there isn’t much of an an opportunity to make the pistes any safer, due to the nature of the mountains and the sheer amount of snowfall each day, but hopefully this will make people aware of how something as seemingly harmless as a snowdrift can be so hard to get out of and therefore lethal.

“We can, however, find some comfort in the fact that all parties involved have been so helpful.

“We would like to thank the French mountain rescue team, police and hospital staff, as well as the British man who found her, the ski instructor who called for help and of course all of her wonderful friends.”

Witham MP Priti Patel faced questions over the prospect of a possible Cabinet return this morning in her first broadcast interview since quitting over her secret meetings with senior Israeli figures last year.

This is the last week that market traders will operate from Ipswich’s Cornhill for at least a year as work to rebuild the town centre is due to start.

Drivers are being warned they could face delays as roadworks begin at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions this morning.

The government has still not agreed a deal to end its £50m commitment for the regional fire control “white elephant” in Cambridgeshire – nearly two years after negotiations started.

A police helicopter was involved in a search which continues this morning for a motorist involved in a single-vehicle crash in Suffolk last night.

James Blunt and Plan B have joined this year’s Newmarket Nights line-up.

Police are at the scene of a crash on the A1071 near Hintlesham this evening. Updates here.

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