TRIBUTES were paid last night to a 19-year-old man killed in a car crash in Australia.
The dead teenager has been named as trainee chef Richard Tennant, from Marchwiel, Wrexham.
A friend critically injured in last Friday’s crash has been named Joshua Bowen, also 19, from Bronington.
A third man in the car, a 26-year-old, is also believed to be from the Wrexham area originally but had been living in East London. He has yet to be named.
Both Richard and Joshua were students at 760-pupil The Maelor School, Penley.
Headmaster Eiddwyn Hall said last night that Richard and Joshua had left the comprehensive school after their A-levels last summer.
Mr Hall said: “It is devastating. The loss of any student is terrible – people are stunned.”
He is in contact with the teenagers’ families. “They were both very likeable students and enjoyed school life to the full,” added Mr Hall, who said counselling is available for pupils traumatised by the news.
“Richard did well in school drama productions and was intending to be a chef. Joshua has been accepted at a college of veterinary science in Edinburgh. He had worked at local veterinary surgeries to gain experience.”
Richard worked at the Cross Foxes pub in Erbistock for about two and a half years before he left for Australia.
Sarah Shaw, a supervisor at the pub, said: “We are all devastated. Richard was absolutely ace, he had not got a bad bone in his body.
“He constantly wanted to learn and wanted to please. He started here washing up, took an interest in chefing and trained to be a chef.
“He was secretly saving up and one day said ‘I’m going’. He went about five months ago. We’d all heard from him. He kept in touch, especially with his girlfriend Hayley from Ruabon.”
Helen Eastop, deputy manager at the Cross Foxes, also paid tribute: "Richard was a fantastic employee and he was very much liked by everyone here.
"He was always in a good mood, always brightened our day. He had a very promising career ahead of him.
"We're like a family and we feel as though part of that family has gone. Everyone is in shock."
Queensland Police Service said the car left the road and crashed into three trees.
Driver Richard died at the scene, one of the passengers was airlifted to hospital and the other transported by ambulance.
Both injured men were in a critical condition in the Royal Brisbane Hospital last night. Mr Bowen’s parents are in Australia.