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Teenager who died at Leeds Festival after taking drugs named as Lewis Haunch

Published 28/08/2016

Two 17-year-old males were arrested in the Greater Manchester area on suspicion of drugs offences and are being questioned by police
Two 17-year-old males were arrested in the Greater Manchester area on suspicion of drugs offences and are being questioned by police

Police have named a 17-year-old who died after taking drugs at Leeds Festival.

Lewis Haunch, from Leigh, Greater Manchester, was taken to hospital at 4.45pm on Saturday but was pronounced dead shortly after midnight, West Yorkshire Police said.

Two 17-year-old males are in custody after being arrested in the Greater Manchester area on suspicion of drugs offences.

A police spokesman said: "Police confirm the name of the 17-year-old who died after taking drugs at Leeds Festival.

"Lewis Haunch, 17, of Leigh, in Greater Manchester, sadly died shortly after midnight after he was taken to St James' Hospital in Leeds.

"Inquiries are still ongoing into his death and how he obtained the substance he took.

"His family are asking for privacy at this time."

Chief Superintendent Keith Gilert, Leeds Festival's police commander, said officers will continue to support Lewis's family.

He also issued a warning to festival-goers about the dangers of illegal drugs and said they would continue to take action against those supplying drugs to others.

Mr Gilert said: "At this time the indications are that the man consumed drugs immediately before before he collapsed.

"I would, though, like to take this opportunity to remind anyone attending the festival that there is no safe way to take drugs.

"Taking any illegal drug carries a risk to health and we would always advise people against it, but I would ask that people are particularly conscious of the risks following this young man's death."

He added: "Anyone who has any concerns for either themselves or others at the festival should contact festival site or security staff or seek medical assistance."

One festival-goer said she believed she saw Lewis as he was being treated by medics.

Hayley Briggs said: "It was right outside the guest area and the guy just looked in a very bad way. He was ashen, head-to-toe grey, totally not with it at all.

"He was being cradled by one of the first aiders before the ambulance arrived. He looked as if he was going in and out of consciousness. Poor kid, it's really sad.

"There were a load of people around him just waiting for the ambulance to arrive and when it did the first aiders went straight out and they just got cracking."

Ms Briggs said she heard a number of people discussing drugs while she was at the festival and said one of her friends had been offered a number of different substances.

Friends of Lewis took to social media to express their shock at the teenager's death.

Joe Heaton wrote on Facebook: "Just in absolute shock and speechless and can't stop crying. My cousin Lewis died last night far too young. At just 17 years old, he was taken far too early from us all. What a kind, innocent young man who would never cause any harm to anybody. Let his memory live on. RIP."

While Charlie Heaton said: "Absolutely devastated that my cousin, one of the most harmless, nicest lads I know, has been taken. Can't begin to describe the feeling. RIP Lewis, everyone is gonna miss you pal."

Erica Mcguinness said she was "devastated" by her friend's death.

She wrote: "Doesn't even feel real, even right now, writing this status, I'm hoping someone will turn around and say it's a mistake.

"This morning my life changed forever. Finding out that my best friend has passed away has to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things I've ever had to deal with.

"Words can't describe how much I'm missing you already and the hurt I'm experiencing trying to take it all in. Couldn't ask for a better best friend and I'm just devastated it got cut too short. Nobody will ever replace you, I hope you look down on me and your other friends and be proud. Took way too early and you'll be missed by so many. Don't know how I'm going to cope but I'll stay strong for you. I love you lots Lewis. Hope nobody ever has to go through something like this."

Many of Lewis's friends changed their cover pictures to the name "Podge" and a heart made from tea light candles.

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