Grieving parents and friends are struggling to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after a car crash killed two teenage friends.
Flowers cover the ground and the scent of burning candles yesterday filled the air at the spot on the Warkton road outside Grafton Underwood where Ryan Kirk, 19, of Denford Ash, near Thrapston, and Charlotte Filer, 17, of Lilac Place, Kettering, died at 6.50pm on Tuesday.
Speaking at the scene Ryan’s father Richard, of Brambleside, Kettering, said: “It’s tragic. It’s unreal. You don’t expect it. As soon as the police came to the door I knew.
“He was just a wonderful, loving son. I’m so shocked.
“I’ll always remember his smile and his love for his family.”
Car enthusiast Ryan’s yellow Citroen Saxo, which he had only had four weeks, crossed the carriageway and hit a silver Vauxhall Astra coming the other way.
The driver of the Astra, a 33-year-old woman from Kettering, was taken to Kettering General Hospital but was not seriously injured.
Ryan’s stepfather, Brian Coales, who bought the £1,000 car for him just before Christmas, said police told him Ryan, who passed his test last June, appeared to have lost control of the car on the straight road just after a sharp bend, regained it briefly, but then hit the Vauxhall.
Mr Coales, with whom Ryan has lived at Briggs Lodge for 15 years, said he, Ryan’s mum Jayne and their daughter, 15-year-old Ellie, were struggling to come to terms with the loss: “He was like a son. We went to bed at 12.30am but she couldn’t sleep and she got up straightaway.
“She was sitting on the settee, not doing anything. There’s nothing you can say.
“It has hit our daughter Ellie, but it won’t hit her really hard until the funeral.”
A picture of Charlotte, known as Lottie, in a prom dress was left with flowers at the crash site.
The card inside read: “RIP Lottie, our sweet baby girl. Love you always, mum and Alan.”
Lottie’s friend Rhea left a long written tribute, which included the words: “I will miss our phone calls, meet-ups and just being us.
“I will never find a friend just like you and you will never be replaced.”
Neighbour Susan Barton said: “It’s an awful thing for the young kid. To have a phone call about your child, it’s even worse.”
The teenagers’ deaths bring the number of people killed on the county’s roads to three already this year. Last year, a total of 19 people were killed, the lowest figure since records began.
Police are appealing for two separate drivers who stopped at the scene and helped emergency services to come forward.
Witnesses said three ambulances, two police cars, a fire engine and the police helicopter attended the crash.
Sgt Hugh Dixon, of the police’s collision investigation unit, said: “The car that the two casualty victims were in was travelling towards Grafton Underwood when for some reason or other they crossed into the opposing carriageway and collided with an oncoming car.”
Anyone with information can call police on on 101, the Drivewatch Hotline on 0800 174615 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.