FRIENDS and family of teenager Luke Lyons, who was found dead in his car by his dad and best friend on Friday, have taken to Facebook to pay tribute to him.
The former Tiverton High School pupil, who lived in Bampton, was found dead in his van at the foot of a steep embankment at 5pm on Friday, having been missing since he left for work in Bideford at 6am that morning.
It's thought Luke lost control of his silver Clio van in icy conditions, causing him to crash off the A396, down a steep 40ft bank and into trees near to Bickleigh Wood, while heading to the site he was working at in Bideford.
Luke was a labourer for Exmouth-based company AB Special Projects Groundworks.
After crashing down the slope the van hit trees where it lay undiscovered for around 11 hours.
A missing persons appeal had been launched after Luke failed to show up to work on Friday morning, and friends and family started searching for him.
Luke's older sister, Danielle Lyons, 23, asked her friends if anyone had seen Luke via Facebook, before later learning from her dad that Luke's body had been found.
She then posted a tribute on Facebook.
She wrote: "Luke's family would like to thank everybody for their support, kind words and tributes to Luke on our devastating loss.
"It is comforting to know he was loved by many, a true legend.
"It's also of great comfort to all that Luke did not appear to suffer and that he was found by his dad and best friend.
"We'd urge anybody who was affected by the road conditions on Friday morning to please contact the police on 101 quoting reference 515."
Danielle also wrote a letter to Luke on his Facebook page.
Within hours of Luke's death hundreds of his friends had joined a Facebook group dedicated to his memory. Bethany Davis wrote: "RIP Luke, you're going to be missed a lot.
"I only had a chat with you a couple of days ago outside Tesco and now your gone. I can't believe it."
Stacey Bristow said: "Rest in peace Luke. So sad to have been taken away so early. Sending lots of love to all your dear family."
Tiverton High School head teacher Andrew Lovett had only kind words to say about Luke.
He said: "We were greatly saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Luke. He left in 2009 having spent five years with us. He was a very popular young man with a large group of good-humoured friends who enjoyed a joke with teachers and fellow students alike.
"Luke is remembered by staff as a respectful and good-mannered lad who had a positive outlook on life. Our condolences go to his family and friends."