More tributes paid to Melksham fatal crash victim
7:00am Friday 1st January 2010 in By Katie Adams
Tributes to popular teenager Jon Deven have poured in since his death in a car crash in Melksham early on Sunday morning.
The 18-year-old apprentice mechanic, of The Street, Broughton Gifford, was a passenger in a blue Citroen Saxo that was heading towards the village when it collided with the parapet of the bridge over the River Avon in Western Way, Melksham, shortly after 3am.
The driver of the car, 18-year-old Ash Collings, a former George Ward School pupil from Melksham, was seriously injured.
Both were rushed to hospital, where Jon later died.
This week more than 50 bunches of flowers, many with messages attached, were laid at the scene of the crash.
Jon had worked as an apprentice mechanic at Townsend Motors on the Common in Broughton Gifford for the last two-and-a-half years, as well as studying at Wiltshire College, Trowbridge. Joan Townsend, who runs the garage with husband Neil and partner Chris Rees, said they are trying to come to terms with the loss.
She said: “He had been with us full-time, except Wednesdays when he went to college, and he was always a pleasure to work with.
“He was hard-working and the customers loved him. Some of them had brought him Christmas presents in because they liked him so much.
“Nothing was ever any trouble for him and although we have all grieved for him and cried in private, it’s just going to be hard coming to terms with him not being here together.
“There were only the four of us here including him and so coming back in here means we are trying to cope with what has happened.
“At some point we will have to face the facts together. We are going to miss him very much.”
Darren Gale, Jon’s head of year at George Ward School, said: “I am very saddened to hear this news, I can only think back to the good times we had at GWS and the team we established.
“All of you in my former year group will be saddened by this. My thoughts are with you, the Melksham community and, naturally, the family. ”
Jon’s aunt and uncle, Sarah and Keith Deven, who are from Basingstoke, also gave their tributes to the boy they called a smashing nephew.
They said: “Jon, you will never be forgotten, from the very first nappy change to the very last hug goodbye, we will never forget you.
“It was great having somebody who spent more time on their hair than their auntie. We are totally devastated and we will miss you so so so so much but you will remain in our hearts forever. Keep smiling and sleep well. ”
Jon’s sister Louisa Deven left a message on a special tribute site on the social networking website Facebook thanking people for their kind comments about her brother.
She said: “It was a tragic accident. Nobody is to blame.”
Michael Sawyer, 18, from Melksham, said he had been close friends with Jon for the past nine years after meeting him through friends in Broughton Gifford and went with him to George Ward.
On Tuesday he had a tattoo marked out on his arm in memory of his friend which reads: “Jon Deven 12th April 1991 to 27th December 2009. Always in my heart, love you forever mate RIP.”
Michael said around 30 of their friends gathered at Bowerhill Pavilion on Sunday evening to talk about what had happened before taking flowers down to the scene of the collision to pay their respects.
He said: “As we were there laying flowers a priest drove past and he stopped and got out and said a prayer with us for Jon.”
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