Tributes for ‘amazing’ St Albans teen who died after car crash
- Credit: Debbie White/Archant
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a popular teenager who tragically died after a serious car crash in St Albans.
There has been an outpouring of grief over the death of Harley Tobias, 16, in St Mary’s Hospital in London last Thursday (22), less than a week before his 17th birthday, this Wednesday (28).
The teenager, a former Beaumont School pupil who went on to attend Links AP Academy, suffered a serious head injury during a collision and was taken to St Mary’s Hospital in a critical condition.
Herts Police launched an appeal for witnesses and information following the crash, after they were called to Marshal’s Drive at about 2am last Tuesday, October 20.
The collision involved a black Vauxhall Astra, driven by Harley, and a campervan, which had been parked in the street.
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Following his death, family members, friends and teachers who have known Harley since he was a child, have written poignant messages in tributes left near the scene of the crash in Marshalswick.
Over a hundred bouquets have been carefully placed along railings bordering The Wick, along with balloons, while candles line the footpath.
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A Beaumont School tie has also been placed there, along with a multitude of items connected to the teenager’s short life.
Emotional messages left by the many mourners include one which says: “Such a great boy, Harley was an amazing young lad ... may your soul rest in peace.”
One of his teachers wrote: “You were such a funny, happy young man. I loved teaching you English.”
Many expressed shock at his sudden death.
A 16 year old friend of the teen, who attended Beaumont with him, described him to the Herts Advertiser as a ‘hero’ as Harley’s organs were donated to save others.
Herts Police have today (Monday) passed on a tribute from the teenager’s family: “We, as Harley’s family have been devastated by his untimely death.
“We have lost a beautiful son, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew and cousin and a brother to so many of his close friends. Harley had a huge impact on all of our lives; already he is sorely missed and will remain in our hearts forever.”
The Herts Advertiser has also been sent a tribute from some of Harley’s friends, Ben Jerrams, Andrew Burrowes, Michael Murray, Amber Foster, Liam Foster and Danny Sheed, who said simply: “We miss you. RIP bro.”
Ben, who visited Harley at St Mary’s, added that he was a “funny dude” who used to “crack me up at school”.
He praised the teen’s grieving family for their fortitude during such a difficult time.
Another family friend, Cheryl Swanston, has launched a campaign in a bid to raise £1,000 to replace his mum’s car, understood to have been driven by Harley at the time of the crash, and “treat the family because they have lost an amazing son, who touched everyone”.
Over £300 has been pledged so far on the justgiving page: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/cheryl-swanston
A Facebook page has been set up in tribute to Harley, to allow the many who knew him to share their memories.
Tributes make reference to Harley’s ready smile and ability to make others laugh.
His mother, Eve, has posted: “To know so many people thought so much of him is lovely. My heart is still aching and always will.”
But Eve has also written of her concern for some young people who might be struggling to cope with her son’s death and, “like me, need support”.
This has prompted her to suggest they talk to friends and family, or contact organisations if they feel they need advice, as “Harley loved you all”.
For help and links to useful websites and phone numbers see the St Albans and District Bereavement Network: www.sabn.org.uk