A teenager who grew up and went to school in Bourne has died after his car plunged into a watery ditch on his way home from work.
James Roberts, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene, after the Rover 214 he had been driving was found upside down in a drainage channel near his home in New York, Lincolnshire.
He leaves behind an 18 month-old daughter Lily.
The car was found off Hurnbridge Road on Friday morning, shortly after 8.30am, by his parents, Peter and Stella.
They had begun a search for James after he failed to return to his girlfriend’s home in nearby Coningsby the previous evening and police had been unable to locate him that night.
Mr Roberts, 50, said: “I climbed down to it. I had to smash a window to get in and James was upside down in his seat with his head under water.”
“It was awful. Immediately afterwards, it seemed, the emergency services arrived, but obviously it was too late. They had to lift the car out and cut James out.”
“He had been dead since the night before. I think he had gone off the road about six or seven o’clock at night. Just no one knew.”
He added: “It’s an awful time for us at the moment. It’s just a terrible loss. It’s like a part of us has died as well.”
James’ father said “He was full of joy with his daughter, he really was. He was being a real man, living up to his responsibilities and providing for her.”
James grew up in Bourne before the family moved to New York in 2009. He was a pupil at Bourne Academy.
Bourne Academy headteacher Laurence Reilly said: “It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of James in a car crash.
“James was a quiet, conscientious student who started his secondary school career at what was then The Robert Manning Technology College.
“He was an able, hardworking student and we were disappointed to lose him when he moved away after a successful three years with us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
James also leaves behind a sister Elena, 24, and brother David, 22.