Tributes paid to A396 Bampton crash victim Luke Lyons 'who always made us smile'
FRIENDS of a teenager who was killed in a car accident say he will always be remembered for making them smile.
Luke Lyons, 19, from Bampton, was pronounced dead at the scene following the incident which happened last Friday on the A396, just south of Cove and near Bickleigh Wood.
The Gazette understands that it was Luke's father who found him after a search was launched when he failed to arrive at work in Bideford.
At 4.50pm, a silver Renault Clio van was discovered at the bottom of a steep bank having dropped around 40ft.
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A police spokesman said: "The single male occupant of the vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene."
A spokesman said that formal identification would be likely to take place today.
Luke left his Bampton home at 6.30am but failed to arrive at work and social media sites were awash with missing person appeals for the Bampton teenager during Friday.
Upon hearing of his death, young friends of the 19-year-old took to social networking site Facebook to pay tribute to him with 175 people joining a page called 'R.I.P. Luke Lyons'.
Friends are organising a memorial midnight drive to Exmouth on Saturday in tribute to Luke, the day after what would have been Luke's 20th birthday.
Tiverton High School headteacher Andrew Lovett said: "We were greatly saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Luke. Luke left in 2009 having spent five years with us. He was a very popular young man with a large group of good-humoured friends who enjoyed a joke with teachers and fellow students alike.
"Luke is remembered by staff as a respectful and good-mannered lad who had a positive outlook on life. Our condolences go to his family and friends."
Luke's sister Danielle said: "Luke's family would like to thank everybody for their support, kind words and tributes to Luke on our devastating loss.
"It is comforting to know he was loved by many; a true legend.
"It is also of great comfort to all that Luke did not appear to suffer and that he was found by his Dad and best friend."
Sgt Keith Parkinson, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said he was keen for anyone who travelled along the stretch of road between 6.30am-7.30am on Friday to contact him.
He said: "Witness appeal boards will remain at the scene throughout this week and there is a suggestion that because of the time of year and time of the morning that ice may have been a factor.
"We would like to hear from people who travelled along that road to know what conditions were like."
Sgt Parkinson said friends of Luke's had been leaving tributes and memorials close to the scene.
He said: "If people want to come to the scene and leave a temporary memorial to Luke, that's acceptable to the family, but we would remind them to park appropriately and to not obstruct the highway."
Police are appealing for drivers who travelled on the road to phone non-emergency number 101, quoting log number 515 25/01/13.