British teacher dies on first day of school ski trip

A British teacher has died on the first day of a week-long school ski trip after falling off a four meter high stone wall after a trip to a pub and landing on his head.

Austrian police said Jonathan Taylor, 44, an IT teacher at the Christ the King School in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, had been to a local pub at Matrei in the Austrian East Tyrol region when he fell from the top of the four-meter high roadside stone wall.

He had been out with the tour group’s bus driver and three others who were supervising the group, and the five were travelling home at 3am on Sunday morning when the accident happened. They had only arrived the day before – on Saturday. Mr Taylor landed on his head and was killed instantly, according to emergency doctors who were called to the scene. Attempts at reanimation were unsuccessful.

A police spokesman said: “He was the last in the group, they were walking on a footpath above the road and for some reason he fell, rolled over a bank and then plunged over the edge of the stone wall on which the path ran. He fell four meters down from the path onto the road.”

Chair of the governors, David Wilson, confirmed Mr Taylor died at the scene of the accident on Sunday morning. He had been at the school for a year.

Principal Carlo Cuomo has flown to Austria, he said.

The group of 48 pupils, aged 14 to 15, is expected to return to Nottinghamshire later today (Monday) with the school trip cut short.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed a British national had died in Austria and that “school children were being looked after”.

Mr Taylor leaves a wife, Mr Wilson added.

Pupils from the school paid tribute on Twitter, calling Mr Taylor “a lovely man” and a “highly respected teacher”.

Prosecutors in Innsbruck are investigating and have ordered an autopsy.

On the same day another tourist survived after falling off a 200 meter high mountain side in Austria. She suffered broken bones, but her condition is not critical.

Austria has seen a record late snowfall in recent days with many roads and paths covered in an unseasonably late snowfall.