TRIBUTES have been paid to two young soldiers who were killed in a car crash in Catterick Garrison on Saturday.

Codie Richardson, 20, from Stockton, and Mark McKeen 23, from Northern Ireland, died when their car left the road and hit a tree opposite Catterick Golf Club at about 8pm.

Trooper McKeen, who had survived two tours of Afghanistan, had been driving the Seat Ibiza, and Private Richardson was a passenger.

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Speaking on behalf of The Royal Dragoon Guards, Major Hugh Pearce-Gould, Officer Commanding B (The Black Horse) Squadron, said: “Trooper Mark McKeen was a well rounded individual and a first class soldier; his loss will be keenly felt by all who knew him.

"He was a popular and engaging member of the Regiment. He served with great courage and dedication on two difficult and dangerous tours of Afghanistan.

“His untimely loss is a terrible tragedy but his memory will always be cherished by The Royal Dragoon Guards and those of us fortunate enough to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

“Private Codie Richardson had only been with the Regiment for five months, but had made a very positive impression on both her Squadron and the Catering Department.

"Outgoing, keen and personable, she was always willing to take on new challenges.

“She embraced being in a Cavalry Regiment and seized the opportunity to take up horse riding.

"She was also a very caring, considerate person and always put the needs of others first.

"Our deepest sympathies are with her family and friends at this difficult time. She will be greatly missed by the Regiment.”