HUNDREDS of people have spoken of their shock and sadness after former Tiverton High School student Luke Lyons was killed on the A396.

The much loved 19-year-old from Bampton, who would have celebrated his 20th birthday tomorrow (Friday), was pronounced dead at the scene near Bickleigh Wood.

His vehicle appears to have left the road and plunged 40 feet down a steep bank into trees.

Police attended the area shortly before 5pm on Friday after the alarm was raised when Luke failed to turn up for work in Bideford earlier that morning.

Masses of flowers, cards and gifts have been left at the crash scene and over 200 people have joined Facebook page ‘R.I.P Luke Lyons’ to pay tribute to him.

Over 20 friends are meeting tomorrow (Satur-day) for a memorial midnight drive from Tiv-erton to Exmouth beach, where Luke and his friends spent summer holidays.

They also plan to release dozens of Chinese lanterns on the beach.

Writing on her Facebook page, 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’s comforting to know he was loved by many.”

Friend Mel Harris, 21, who organised the memorial drive, wrote: “You didn’t deserve this Luke. You are definitely the kindest, most selfless, genuine person I have ever met.”

Dozens of friends are going out for a meal and drinks in Tiverton tonight (Friday) to remember Luke on what would have been his 20th birthday.

Writing on the memorial Facebook page, Danni Hill said: “Sat thinking of you right now wishing there was some magic wand I could just wave to bring you back.

“Life’s so incredibly cruel, I’m certain you are up there looking down on each and every one of us.”

Spencer Watts summed up the strength of feeling when he wrote: “R.I.P. Luke, too young to be taken from us! Keep smiling up there buddy! XX.”

Police are appealing for witnesses to the acccident to contact them on 101, quoting log number 515 25/01/13.