THE young man who died when his Ford Fiesta hit a tree on the Peppard Road in Emmer Green last Friday morning was a former Gillotts School and Henley College student.
Nineteen-year-old Joshua Justyn Smith from Sonning Common was a well-loved and popular student.
He had been working at Millies Cookies in Reading’s Oracle shopping centre this summer before taking up a university place this autumn.
Flowers, cuddly toys, a candle, football flags and many heart-felt tributes still lay at the roadside just beyond Emmer Green where the accident happened in the early hours of last Friday morning.
It is believed that no other vehicle was involved in the accident, but Thames Valley Police are still appealing for witnesses.
A TEENAGER who died after crashing his car into a tree lay in the vehicle for more than three hours before being discovered.
Joshua Justyn Smith, 19, of Sonning Common was driving on the B481 Peppard Road, close to the Abbey Rugby Club, when the accident happened at about 5.30am last Friday. A passing motorist found him in his purple Ford Fiesta at 8.43am and called the police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bouquets of flowers, a teddy bear and a Chelsea FC flag were among items laid at the accident spot. Tributes have been pouring in for the former Gillotts and Henley College pupil who was planning to take up a university place to study English.
A statement from his family said: "Our beautiful son, grandson, brother, nephew, great friend and huge Chelsea fan has been tragically taken away from us.
"He was such a shining light with his beautiful eyes and amazingly infectious smile. He made such a wonderful impression and touched the hearts and minds of everyone he met.
"His family are overwhelmed by such a huge outpouring of love from the many people who knew him and cared for him. The best parts of all of us will always be Josh. We had 19 wonderful years with him.
"His family would like to thank everybody for their kind words and support."
Catharine Darnton, headteacher of Gillotts School, said staff were "very sad" to learn of his death.
She said: "The teachers have said he was a very polite, kind and caring young man who was a pleasure to teach." She added that she had written to his family to offer condolences and will wait to hear their wishes before making plans for any memorial service at the school.
"People are a bit shocked at what happened," she said. "Iím sure we will do something, but itís a bit early at the moment."
Mr Smith had been working in Millies Cookies in The Oracle, Reading, for the past four months and had become good friends with colleague Merryn Robinson.
Miss Robinson, 19, of Woodley, said: "He was really funny and lovely — he was just always smiling.
"We had a memorial night on Wednesday for the staff. We played his favourite bands, Blink 182 and Angels and Airwaves, and we sat round looking at pictures of him and telling stories."
The memorial on the roadside, near the Abbey Rugby Club, also included goalkeeper gloves, a Reading FC shirt and a Blink 182 poster.
A note from his grandparents, laid by a wreath, read: "How could you go without saying goodbye? Our hearts are broken and we will never be the same.
"Thank you, darling, for being such a very special part of our lives for 19 years. Sweet dreams, Josh, until we come to be where you are, with God. Love you up to the stars and back."
The road was closed after the accident so that special investigators could examine the area, but Thames Valley Police are still appealing for witnesses.
Anyone who saw the car before the collision or who stopped at the accident scene is urged to contact PC Victoria Jones at the Road Death Investigation Team via the 24-hour police enquiry centre by dialling 101.