THE families of two friends killed when their car hit a tree have today (Friday, August 22) spoken of their devastation.

Grant Benson, 21, and Nicky Davidson, 27, died at the scene near Barnard Castle, County Durham, in the early hours of last Saturday (August 16).

The family of Mr Benson, of Bartlemere, Barnard Castle, said: "Our family are absolutely devastated at the loss of Grant.

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"Grant was a beautiful, caring and loving person and our lives will never be the same again without him. We will miss him more than words can say."

The family of Mr Davidson, of Leekworth Gardens, Middleton-in-Teesdale, described him as a beautiful, kind, caring and thoughtful boy with a heart of gold.

“He touched the hearts of everyone he met and was a good friend to many. We were all so very proud of him and have been left utterly devastated by this.

“We don’t know how we are going to cope without our precious boy in our lives and can’t believe we won’t see him walk through the door with a cheeky grin on his face ever again”

They died when the black/slate grey Audi A4 they were in left Westwick Road, between Barnard Castle and Whorlton, at around 3.15am on Saturday August 16 and hit the tree. No other vehicle was involved.

A Facebook tribute page set up in their memory has almost 1,600 members, with many offering condolences to their families.

Sergeant Andy Sutherland from the Roads Policing Unit said he is keen to hear from anyone who saw either Grant or Nicky out in Barnard Castle on the Friday night or later on in the car.

“Collision investigators are continuing to work hard to piece together the events of the night and to establish the cause of the collision," he added. "I would ask for anyone who may have seen the car in the time leading up to the collision to get in touch.

“The collision investigation team are also keen to collect any CCTV which may help establish the exact route the car has taken leading up to the incident.”

Anyone with information should contact Durham Constabulary on 101 and ask for the Collision Investigation Unit.