Isle Of Wight Teenager Froze To Death In Ski Resort
4 November 2015, 13:56
An Isle of Wight teenager died in the cold after he got disorientated after going drinking on an apres-ski pub crawl at a French resort, an inquest has heard.
Kieron Flux, from Newport, went missing after a night out at the Val D'Isere resort in January this year.
The 18-year-old had gone on the chalet holiday with his father, Wayne Flux, and nine others and on the second evening of the trip, he decided to go into the town centre with friend Joseph Craig.
Mr Craig said in a statement read to the Newport inquest that they had initially joined a pub crawl organised by the tour company reps.
He said that after they had visited four bars, he became separated from Mr Flux and ended up coming back to the group's chalet alone.
He said that at the first bar they drank wine with a flavouring, before going on to have one or two beers at the rest.
He said: ``We decided to go to the resort. We caught the bus into the resort and joined a bar crawl organised by the reps.''
Mr Craig said that Mr Flux, a plumber, had become involved in an argument outside one of the bars with a group from Wales. He said that he had held one of them back from attacking Mr Flux.
He said: ``They wanted a fight, I do not remember how it was resolved. Kieron went out for a cigarette. The same man who I held back punched me on the nose and left.
``Kieron saw me holding my nose and asked what had happened. Kieron went off, my only recollection was being back on the bus to the chalet.
``Kieron didn't come back that night but no-one missed him until the next morning.''
Mr Flux's father said in his statement that Kieron had drunk about six bottles of beer with dinner before he headed out.
He described how he got up in the night and saw someone sleeping on the sofa and he thought that it was his son but only later realised that it was someone else. He said: ``I thought he had struck lucky and found a girl and was sleeping it off.''
Mr Flux said that after spending the morning on the slopes he returned to find his son had not come back and he raised the alarm with the chalet rep who contacted police, leading to searches being carried out in the area.
Mr Flux said that police took him to a CCTV control room and he was shown footage of his son getting on to the shuttle bus alone but getting off at the wrong place.
His body was found by a search helicopter and Mr Flux was later taken to a chapel of rest to identify his son.
He said: ``He was frozen solid.''
Caroline Sumeray, Isle of Wight Coroner, said that the French authorities had carried out an autopsy but had not sent the findings.
She also informed Mr Flux's mother, Diane Haines, that some of his organs had been retained without explanation by the French and she would ask the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to investigate.
Mrs Haines said she had not been previously informed and added: ``So I buried him with most of his organs missing.''
Recording a verdict of death by misadventure, Ms Sumeray said that the cause of death was hypothermia contributed to by intoxication.
She said: ``I have heard that he was intoxicated. He had gone on the shuttle bus and got off at the wrong end of town, he was disorientated and wasn't dressed warmly and subsequently got lost in the snow and developed hypothermia and died.
``Had he not been intoxicated with alcohol, I do not think he would have ended up getting lost and dying.''
She added: ``I offer my deepest condolences for your loss.''
Mrs Haines said after the inquest: ``I have no comment on the inquest, just that Kieron is missed by all his family and friends.''
Mr Flux had been studying for a plumbing and heating apprenticeship at the Isle of Wight College.
Principal Debbie Lavin said in a statement released after his death: ``I could immediately tell how popular he was with both staff and students alike when I saw their reaction to the news. My thoughts are completely with the family this day. This is so very sad.''