TRIBUTE has been paid to a “much-loved” teenager who died in a car crash.The family of 17-year-old Rhys Hemmingway, from Coundon, says he will be “sadly missed”. Rhys was driving a black Peugeot 206 which was involved in a collision with a beige Skoda Octavia on the A68 West Auckland on Thursday June 29th at about 10.45am. Paramedics and the fire and rescue service attended but Rhys was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

His family said: “It is with deepest regret we announce the death of our son, brother and grandson Rhys who was involved in a tragic road traffic collision. He was a much-loved son, brother, foster brother, boyfriend and grandson and will be sadly missed. “We wish to thank everyone for their support at this sad time and ask to be left so that we can grieve in peace with our loved ones.” It is understood Rhys was heading from Burtree to West Auckland coming down the hill when the collision occurred with the Skoda which was going up the hill.

The 65-year-old female Skoda driver, from Bishop Auckland, was taken to hospital with broken ribs. Durham Constabulary would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or the vehicles being driven prior to the crash. Anybody with any information is requested to contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 0191 3752159 or Durham Police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting incident number 127 of June 29.