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Crash teens 'wonderful people'

Five teenagers who died in a two-car crash were "wonderful young people", the head of their school has said.

Bartosz Bortniczak, 18, Blake Cairns,16, Arpad Kore, 18, Jordanna Goodwin, 16 and Megan Storey, 16, all died after the Toyota Corolla they were travelling in was in collision with another vehicle in South Yorkshire last night in foggy conditions.

All were students in the sixth-form of Danum Academy, in Doncaster, except for Mr Bortniczak, who was a former pupil at the school.

Tonight, dozens of young people gathered outside the front of the main school building to remember those who died and lay flowers.

Headteacher Rebecca Staples said: "Blake Cairns, Jordanna Goodwin, Arpad Kore, and Megan Storey were all flourishing in our sixth form.

"They were popular, lively and loved by those who knew them and many students looked up to them within our community."

And she said Mr Bortniczak was "a fun loving young man, with a lovely character and a real sense of fun, a loveable lad."

All five of those who died were in the blue Toyota when it was in collision with a grey Seat Leon on the A630 road just outside Conisbrough, near Doncaster, at about 9.40pm on Saturday.

The crash happened just 100m from the scene of a crash which left three teenagers dead in 2011.

A 21-year-old Doncaster man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been released on bail while police continue their investigation.

He was driving a third car - a Vauxhall Corsa.

Police believe the five teenagers in the Toyota met up with the driver of this third vehicle at a McDonald's restaurant in Doncaster some time before the crash.

Both vehicles were heading away from Doncaster at the time of the crash but the Corsa was not part of the actual collision.

Ms Staples paid tribute to each of those who died.

She said: "Blake was great fun. He had a huge network of friends and was a very sporty boy. He represented the school in football teams. He had a real presence; a lovely cheeky boy who had great relationships with staff.

"Jordanna Goodwin never missed a single day of school from primary to the end of Year 11 and had received a special reward from the Local Authority. She was a joyful bubbly girl who had a fantastic rapport with staff. She was our Prom Queen this year, and looked so beautiful on the evening.

"Arpad Kore was always willing to help and assist at school; he was a totally reliable member of our community, a true gentleman who looked out for everybody. He had a tremendous sense of humour.

"Megan Storey was a really bubbly young woman. She was totally reliable for all her friends and truly loyal. She was a very caring mature young woman who was a joy to be with. She too looked stunning at our prom.

"Bartek Bortniczak had kept close ties with his school friends since leaving. He was a fun loving young man, with a lovely character and a real sense of fun, a loveable lad. He was a member of our football teams. He was a down to earth soul."

The head said: "We are and will do everything we can to support those affected."

She said the school has opened books of remembrance and will have quiet rooms on both its sites with counsellors available from the morning.

And she said flowers are already being placed outside the sixth form block.

Ms Staples said: "Each one of them has a special place in each of our hearts. They had tremendous lives ahead of them.

"Grief is already spreading across our community. Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of these wonderful young people."

Inspector Pete Serhatlic, of South Yorkshire Police said: "It was absolutely horrific. There's no other words to describe it.

"I'd rather not go into any details about what it was like but it was extremely traumatic."

Asked about whether the stretch of road is an accident black spot, he said: "It's the second multiple fatality within a short space of time but it's not really a location where you consistently get road traffic collisions of a serious nature.

"It's just that the ones you do get on that stretch of road seem to, unfortunately, involve multiple deaths.

"It's a national speed limit road but it's not one that picks up RTCs on a daily or weekly basis."

And asked about the fog, he said: "Undoubtedly it was foggy last night.

"I was out going to the scene and sometimes the visibility was down to 30 or 35 metres, so it was patchy fog. The fog in places was dense.

"Whether that had a bearing on the incident - it's too early to say."

He said the driver of the Seat suffered a broken leg.

In January 2011, three teenagers aged 14, 15, and 16 died after the car they were in hit a tree and was torn apart just a short distance from last night's crash site.

Faded memorials from that tragedy are still visible on a nearby tree.

One man who lives close to the crash scene said it was "terrible".

He said: "We didn't realise what it was to start with.

"We'd been watching Strictly and we just heard a thud, just like a car door closing. That's all.

"Then the wife saw the blue lights and we went out and it was just terrible.

"There were fire engines, ambulances, police.

"There must have been 15 police cars.

"I didn't want to go any closer. It looked very bad and they were all there so there's nothing I could do."

A steady stream of teenagers came to the scene this afternoon to lay flowers.

Among the tributes left by the roadside. one message said: "Such a kind hearted young lad with a bright fture ahead of him. Such a sad loss, far too early. RIP Blake."

Another said: "Megs. My little party animal. Going to miss all the banter and cuddles. Never gone, babe.

"I'm still your diamond. Never forgotten my angel."

Another said: "Jondz. Best friends for don't know how long but ages! Will miss your OCD and the trantrums but still love you anyway.

"My angel in the sky, never forgotten."

The road was closed as investigations took place but reopened at about 3am today.

This morning the only evidence of the crash was a South Yorkshire Police witness appeal board placed by the side of the road, which runs through woodland just outside the town of Conisbrough on the main route to Doncaster.

One local resident out walking his dog this morning said: "It's just terrible.

"They must have been going too fast. It was foggy here last night just like it is now.

"It's only a few years ago that all those other kids died. Terrible."


From Belfast Telegraph