Boy aged 10 dies as he plays with friends in snow

Joshua Houlgate
Joshua Houlgate
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The father of a ten-year-old boy who collapsed and died while he was playing in the snow with his friends yesterday told how excited his son had been when he saw the wintry conditions.

Joshua Houlgate was playing in the snow near his home in the Smawthorne area of Castleford, on Sunday afternoon when he complained of feeling unwell and collapsed in front of his friends.

Efforts were made to revive him and he was taken to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, but was pronounced dead.

Yesterday his father, Jeff, described his son as a “lovely, happy boy”.

Mr Houlgate, a warehouse worker, said: “The last time I saw Josh was on Saturday. He was excited about the snow falling and couldn’t wait to get out and play in it on Sunday.

“He was like any young boy, he loved the snow and last year had a great time out sledging.

“He and his friends went sledging first and then found an open space where they were building what they called an igloo.

“I wasn’t there, but his friends said he just leant on a tree and said he didn’t feel well. Then he just collapsed. There was nothing anybody could do.”

His mother, Sara Houlgate, said her son was autistic and had suffered from epilepsy but had not had a seizure for two years.

“All we know at the moment is that it appears as though he has had a fit,” she said.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.