Islington school mourns snow plough death boy

TEACHERS and pupils at an Islington school are being given counselling following the news that a five-year-old reception class pupil was killed in a snow plough accident in Spain.

Staff and children at Canonbury Primary School, in Canonbury Road, are mourning the loss of Federico Nicholls-Lopez, who died in hospital in France on Tuesday.

The youngster - who was known as Freddy - was in a coma for 11 days after he was buried under a mound of snow in the upmarket resort of Baqueria Beret in the Spanish Pyrenees.

Councillor Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for children and young people, said: “On behalf of the council, I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to Freddy’s family. My thoughts are with them and the whole school community as they try to come to terms with this very sad loss.

“Staff from the borough’s education support services are working with the school to provide any counselling or advice they might need to help them cope with these very sad circumstances.”

Federico, who lived in Highbury with his Spanish mum, English dad and two older brothers, stopped breathing after a snow plough driver failed to spot him playing near a ski-lift during the half term holidays on February 25 and buried him under a pile of snow.

His father and one of his brothers were among those racing to dig out the youngster but they were unable to reach him for several minutes.

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Rescuers attempted to revive him at the scene while waiting for paramedics, and Federico was airlifted to a local clinic before being transferred the next day to the Purpan hospital in Toulouse across the border in France.

A magistrate is now investigating the death. The driver of the snow plough could face charges of manslaughter.

Federico’s parents Tom and Anna Nicholls, both 41, co-founded their own company, which publishes guides to the energy industry.

Mr Nicholls, an Oxford graduate, and Ms Nicholls a qualified teacher originally from Spain, have asked to be left alone to grieve in private.

A spokesman at the Purpan hospital where Federico died said: “The boy arrived by helicopter on February 26, a day after the accident in the resort of Baqueria Beret. He died on March 8.”