British graduate died after crashing into snow cannon while skiing


A British graduate working as a holiday rep died when he crashed into a snow cannon after drinking four bottles of beer, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Lynch, 22, had taken tourists on a pub crawl as a representative of holiday firm Crystal Ski, part of the TUI travel group, the night before where he was working in the resort of La Plagne.

He drank four bottles of beer the next morning on his day off while heading off with friends for a day trip to the nearby resort of Val d'Isere.

He reportedly told the group "Watch this!", before embarking on the red run down from the Solaise, but lost control while trying to make a turn and crashed into the snow cannon at high speed.

He suffered massive internal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene in the French Alps.

He had been in France for five months at the time of his death, and had worked the first half of the season at another popular resort, Meribel.

Coroner Robert Chapman recorded a verdict of accidental death at the hearing in Loughborough.

According to the Daily Mail, he said: "Thomas had had something to drink which may have affected his ability to turn and control his skis at that time."

Thomas's father, Brendan Lynch, told the hearing he was disappointed the French police seemed to focus on the fact his son had been drinking before the accident rather than the siting of the snow cannon and how much protective padding it had.

He said he planned to write to the authorities in France, adding: "We want to make sure it doesn't happen twice."

According to the Daily Telegraph, after the hearing, Mr Lynch said: "My wife Wendy and I feel privileged to have been Tom's mum and dad.

"He was our intelligent, kind, handsome son who loved life.

"Tom's passing leaves us with a hole in our lives which cannot be filled. We love Tom very much and will always hold him close within our hearts."

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