Tributes paid to car crash teenagers
By Lorraine King and Sarah Lloyd THE devastated families of three teenagers killed in a car crash on Friday morning have led the scores of tributes made to the popular trio. Jamal Campbell 18, of North Circular Road, Neasden, Craig Charles, 18, and Conr
By Lorraine King and Sarah Lloyd
THE devastated families of three teenagers killed in a car crash on Friday morning have led the scores of tributes made to the popular trio.
Jamal Campbell 18, of North Circular Road, Neasden, Craig Charles, 18, and Conrad Ryan, 17, both of Aylesbury Street, Neasden, died when the silver ford Puma they were travelling in hit a lamppost on Watford around 3.50am on August 21.
Their sudden deaths have left a void in a community who are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
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Leo and Dorothy Charles, Craig's parents, have said they are devastated by their loss and are urging other road users to take note of the consequences driving can have on people's lives.
They said: "Craig was such a kind and loving person and we are devastated and are trying to come to terms with what has happened.
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"He was so funny and popular and made friends where ever he went. He was a keen student and contemplated studying to be an architect when he left school but was keeping his career options open.
"He loved basketball and was a keen player of the sport although in more recent years he preferred to watch it as a spectator rather than get involved.
"We are grateful to the people - both members of the public and the emergency services who assisted at the scene and who tried to save Craig's life, your kindness will stay in our hearts forever.
"We hope that young drivers and road users will learn of the risks associated with driving and using the road as a result of what ahs happened. We would not want anyone else to go through the pain and grief we are experiencing.
"We will love and remember Craig forever and he will hold a special place in the hearts of everyone who knew him."
Conrad was a talented footballer who played for Springfield and was also on a Gaelic football team for Parnells.
His heartbroken mother, Bernie Ryan paid tribute to her 'much loved son who was full of life'.
Conrad started his school life at St Margaret Clitherow in Lawrence Way, Neasden, before attending Queens Park School, Aylestone Avenue, Brondesbury Park, and the Salvatorian School in Harrow.
Conrad had recently passed his first year studying motor mechanics and had been accepted for the second year.
Bernie said: " He loved cars and Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear and had recently only passed his driving test. He had done well at college and was looking forward to his second year.
"He was so determined to pass his driving test and failed it a few times on silly things but I told him that he was failing for a reason but he was so determined and passed it a few weeks ago.
"Conrad also loved football. He was a big Manchester United fan and also played soccer and Gaelic football. He played Gaelic football for Parnells and soccer for Springfield and enjoyed both watching and playing the sport. He played for a lot of teams over the years and played for school teams too.
"He also loved films and television and all types of music.
"Conrad also had a large circle of friends and would spend hours and hours talking to them. We knew he had friends but it is only since this has happened that I have come to realise just how popular he was.
"He was loved by everyone who met him and he will stay in our hearts forever. Words cannot describe how much we are going to miss him.
"I would like to thank all of the people who have been so kind since this has happened. Thanks for the cards, flowers, biscuits and kind words and support, it is much appreciated to know people are there for us.
"We are also extremely grateful to the people who assisted at the scene. It is comforting to know that so many people tried to help and they were not alone.
"We will never forget Conrad and he touched the lives of many people. We will love him forever."
Jamal was also a talented sportsman who had recently won a scholarship to play for Wealdstone Football Club.
His death is the second tragedy to hit the club who lost another player last week to cancer at the age of just 21.
Jamal's parents Lywin and Eroll said Jamal was a 'wonderful son, brother, cousin and friend who always had a smile' and his passing had left a void in their lives.
Lywin said: "Jamal was a very busy and active child and could not wait to join this world as he was born very quickly. Even as a baby he was busy, a very hungry child and grew to be big and strong.
"I remember he got a tricycle from his grandmother when he was a toddler and we were all amazed at how good he was with it at such a young age.
"My husband's friends used to joke saying he was like Jabba The Hut from Star Wars as a baby as he was so huge and he had real character even back then.
"He loved school and would run in the doors in the morning. At the age of five he also took up football, initially he would say he did not want to go but he had a real passion and flare for the game.
"He attended the Northview Primary School in Neasden before going to Rooks Heath Secondary School in South Harrow and most recently Stanmore College where he and won a scholarship with Wealdstone FC to study Football. His coach at Stanmore said he had the right attitude and determination for the game, and Jamal loved it there. He once said to me 'Mum, football is my life.'
"He had studied two years at Stanmore and was planning on doing another two years of studying.
"He was very close to his sisters Tonya, 20, and 13-year-old Tia. There was only eighteen months between Tonia and Jamal and they were more like twins as they got on so well.
"Jamal grew up so quickly and we were so proud of him. It is only now that we are beginning to realise just how popular he was. We are getting calls from people that went to Rooks Heath and Stanmore saying how loved he was and what an inspiration he was to so many people- we had no idea of the enormity
and number of people, until now and we can take comfort from that.
"Jamal also had a girlfriend known as 'BK'. His girlfriend's parents also called to say what a joy it was to have had Jamal in their lives and how he looked after their daughter and it is so comforting and nice to hear comments like that.
"He had a passion for everything, athletics motor racing and his music - which included everything from recent chart music to reggae, hip - hop and music from all other eras including the sixties.
"He had been teaching me the moves to the song Candy by Cameo.
"We will never forget Jamal, we were so lucky to have him on our lives and will love him forever."
Eroll, Jamal's father added: " We were more like brothers than father and son with the interests we had, he was my best friend. I adored him and we were so incredibly proud of him, but we must be strong now.
"We are missing him already and will love him and miss him forever."
Paying tribute to her brother, Tonya said: "He was the best brother ever. He was like my twin even though we were two years apart. I feel like a big part of me is missing and I will love him forever."
Tia said: "Jamal was the best brother ever and he was my idol. Just before he passed away he said I could win X Factor if I work on my confidence, I will always remember that."
Jamal's cousin, Farah Oduneye - Best, said: "He was the best cousin that anyone could ever have, he was like a brother to me. He always had a smile no matter what mood he was in and we will always love him."
John Merran, youth development officer and manager of reserves at Wealdstone FC also paid tribute to Jamal.
He said: "He was such a pleasure to work with and always had a smile but when it came to the game he was very serious.
"He was a really special guy."
Several Facebook groups set up in memory of Jamal, Conrad and Craig have attracted more than 1,000 members.
Investigating officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash to come forward.
Anyone with information should call Ian Breacher on 01707 354379.
The 17-year-old driver, who was the sole survivor of the crash, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving
He has been bailed to return to Watford police station on November 10.