School tribute after Ceredigion lake crash deaths

A memorial book has opened at the school, with pupils due back on Thursday

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A head teacher says his school is "profoundly shocked" by the deaths of a 16-year-old pupil and a former student killed when a car crashed into a lake.

Anwen Busby had just finished her GCSEs at Penglais Comprehensive, Aberystwyth.

She and Jai Burkes, 18, died when the car left the A44 near Ponterwyd, Ceredigion, and head Haydn Davey called it a sombre start to a new school year.

A 21-year-old man, who was arrested, was released on bail and is being treated in hospital.

Ashley Williams, Mr Burkes' best friend, is believed to have been driving the car.

The two injured teenagers, Charlotte Tourle and Amy Valentine, are still being treated at Bronglais hospital in Aberystwyth.

Dyfed-Powys Police said the vehicle became submerged in 4ft (1.2m) of water, in a small lake off the road.

Mr Davey said the school was "profoundly shocked by the dreadful accident".

He added: "This is a very sombre start to the new academic year and the whole school community will be saddened by these events. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those involved in the accident.

"Anwen was a lively pupil, very popular with a wide friendship group.

Anwen Busby, 16, and Jai Burkes, 19 Anwen Busby, 16, and Jai Burkes, 19, died in the crash

"She had just completed her GCSEs and had done very well in her customer care vocational qualification which she passed at the highest level. Anwen had been thinking about continuing her education at college.

"We also remember Jai as a popular, polite and friendly boy who left Penglais two years ago.

"We shall be remembering them in assemblies in the next few days and the school's staff have two trained counsellors who can and will provide support to individual students at this distressing time."

A book of remembrance has also been opened at Penglais school, which welcomes pupils back on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Conservative Mid and West Wales AM Nick Bourne has written to Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones calling for a barrier on the A44.

Start Quote

I do hope that you and your officials will look at the pressing need for a barrier along the bend of this stretch of road”

End Quote Nick Bourne AM Letter to Transport Minister Ieaun Wyn Jones

Mr Bourne, who leads the Tories in the Welsh assembly, said the A44 was "an extremely dangerous road in parts" with a "worrying record of accidents minor, major and fatal".

In his letter, he said: "The recent tragic accident on the road at Llywernog, Ceredigion, is the latest awful evidence of what can occur.

"Clearly, proper legal process must investigate all of the circumstances behind this accident, but I do hope that you and your officials will look at the pressing need for a barrier along the bend of this stretch of road, as well as other appropriate barriers on other stretches of the A44."

Friends of the dead teenagers have visited the scene to leave a floral tribute, as well as setting up online tributes.

'Devastating'

Antony Charnock, 20, also spoke of his shock at discovering two close friends had died in the crash.

"I spoke with them all on the phone last night a couple of hours before the crash," he said.

"They had picked up the girls and gone for a drive in the country. This is devastating. We were all good friends. I knew all five. It seems unreal."

He said when he moved to Aberystwyth from outside the area two years ago both young men and the girls had made him feel very welcome.

"They were both good lads but we were all friends together. This is all such a shock."

The road was closed for 12 hours on Tuesday while the vehicle was recovered from the lake and investigations continued.

An inquest was opened and adjourned on Tuesday on Ms Busby.

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