Four young friends who were killed when a sports car collided with the quad bike they were riding in West Yorkshire had apparently been celebrating the 16th birthday of the youngest victim.
The girl, named in reports as Terrie Lynch, died along with her three friends, Ryan Beal and Brandon Brown, both 20, and Alexandra Binns, 18, when their quad bike was hit from behind by a Nissan 350Z on the A6201 between Upton and Hemsworth at around 12.30am on Sunday.
Three died at the scene while one of the men died in hospital from his injuries.
Two men aged 21 and 22 who were in the car were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and are being questioned by detectives.
Friends and family members spoke of their shock and heartbreak on social media, and one said Terrie had died on her birthday.
Ashleigh Lynch wrote on Facebook: “I don’t actually know what to do with myself. Absolutely wounded, my heart’s actually melting. Why does it have to the best ones?
“My best friend out of it all. And on her 16th birthday. You’re my angel. My beautiful Alexandra, Beal, Bran and Drea will show you how to have a good time.”
Jeorgia Lynch added: “Can’t believe it, doesn’t seem true. Going to miss you Ryan Beal, Terrie Lynch. Fly high, don’t party too hard up there, beautiful angels. Love you Alexandra Binns, Brandon Brown, all too young, taken too soon.”
Others also remembered Terrie as a “beautiful young lass”.
Daniel Haywood said: “Gunna miss this beautiful face. Love you so much Terrie. Fly high my darling, good night and god bless, sleep tight my little beauty. Until we meet again.”
Liv Parsons added: “Rest in paradise beautiful, love you loads,” while Bronte Pretty posted a photograph of herself with Ms Binns to her Facebook page, saying: “My best friend, my rock, my sister. I love you Alexandra Binns, until we meet again.”
She added: “Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling, heartbroken doesn’t come close.”
Minsthorpe Community College in South Elmsall have released a statement about the tragedy.
“Staff and students at Minsthorpe Community College have been saddened by the news of the deaths of a number of young people from the local area in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“We know that death can be difficult for anyone to understand – especially when it is sudden – and we are now helping our young people come to terms with this event as they are likely to be confronted with a variety of emotions which might include shock, sadness, and confusion.
“At Minsthorpe we care about the impact that this may have and are have put in place a variety of support mechanisms for students affected by this, or any issues, raised by this tragedy.
“The College extends its deepest sympathy to the family, friends and to the entire community at this difficult time.
“We have been devastated by the news. We are part of a close-knit family, and this affects us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this sad loss.”
West Yorkshire Police said the quad bike was unregistered when it was being driven.
Mr Beal, who according to his Facebook profile was a fitter for windows firm Safestyle UK and had gone to Minsthorpe Community College, posted a photograph of a green Yamaha quad bike to the social media page earlier this month.
The country road where the collision happened was still closed today, and rush hour traffic was being diverted away from the scene.
Police tape was strung across the grass verge and tied to barricades and road and footpath closed signs.
Beyond the cordon, a single police officer stood next to his van, guarding the entrance to the crash site, which was shrouded in fog.
Specialist officers are supporting the families of those involved and police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or saw an unregistered quad bike or the bronze Nissan car being driven around the Hemsworth area on Saturday evening.
Police believe the Nissan was travelling towards Hemsworth on the A6201 when it was in “collision with the rear of the quad bike”.
Anyone with information is urged to contact West Yorkshire Police on 101.