Young Midlothian doctor dies in tragic Alps ski accident

William died in Avoriaz, France on January 3 in a tragic accident.
William died in Avoriaz, France on January 3 in a tragic accident.

Devastated family have paid tribute to a talented young doctor from Midlothian who died in an accident while on a skiing holiday in the French Alps last week.

Tragic William Reid is thought to have taken a wrong turn while skiing back to his apartment on Friday before hurtling over a 30-foot cliff on to concrete below.

Medics battled in vain to save the 25-year-old’s life in front of long-term girlfriend Kirsty Summers and younger step-brother Murray.

“He was an outstanding person,” said tearful dad Dr Hamish Reid (56).

“I never heard anyone say a bad word about him. He was just a lovely, lovely guy.”

Former Lasswade High pupil William had just enjoyed lunch with lawyer Kirsty (also 25), Murray (20), Hamish and step-mum Anne (51) when tragedy struck in the resort of Avoriaz.

“Kirsty and Murray carried on the normal route and a couple of minutes later came around the corner and saw doctors trying to resuscitate him,” said Hamish.

“Poor Murray and Kirsty saw this and were asked to step back – they’re quite traumatised by all of this.

“We all are but they’re perhaps even more distressed by what they saw at having lost a loving brother and life partner.”

William and Kirsty had been together for six years since meeting at university in Aberdeen and planned to buy a home together in Edinburgh this year.

“They hadn’t actually said they were getting married but we were all sure they would,” added Hamish, of the “utterly devoted” couple.

“We’ve had William for 25 years but only had a few more years, Kirsty had her whole life with him.”

William was just weeks away from finding out whether he would be accepted on to the Scottish orthopaedic training programme to begin his dream career to help others. “He absolutely loved surgery,” said Penicuik doctor Hamish.

“He performed his first appendicostomy the day before he came on the holiday.”

A keen footballer and rugby player as well as skier of 15 years, William played throughout his school days at George Heriot’s.

He graduated from Aberdeen Medical School and completed a placement at Harvard Medical School in the United States, working in Boston.

At the time of his death, William was doing foundation training in Newcastle as he prepared for a future career as a surgeon.