FRIENDS have paid touching online tributes to 19-year-old Steven Parsons from New Milton who died in a crash on the A35.

A Facebook group set up in his memory by his girlfriend Bethaney Jessop had attracted more than 600 members by yesterday morning.

The ferry ticket sales operator was driving a Seat Leon Cupra that crashed into a tree about 400 yards from the Burton turn-off on Saturday.

The 19-year-old driver of an Audi was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released on police bail.

An inquest into the death has been opened and adjourned at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court. It heard evidence that Mr Parsons died of severe brain injuries and multiple blunt injuries.

Extracts from the tributes included: Sam Griffiths: “R.I.P mate. We had some good times together like the time when I worked with you at Walkford Stores. Miss you so much mate.”

Jamie Stanbury: “R.I.P. Steve, you were a cracking chap and you’re going to missed greatly, just know that everyone still cares for you and that we'll all help your family and Bethaney through everything we can.”

Haley Maguire: “R.I.P I can’t believe I saw you for the 1st time since college like 2 weeks ago.

“Our last year that we had in travel and tourism was funny and we had so many laughs.

“All us girls used to love going in your car and would make you just drive to the village for sweets. Rest in peace Steve, I’ll miss you xxx.”

Rhys Michael Jessop: “ Just laid some flowers for you but then you would already know that.

“I hope you liked the card and I wish that this had never happened.

“I wish I had called you and asked if you wanted to play tennis or something. I wish you were still here Stevie. I wish I could see your face, your smile, your jokes again, even if just to say goodbye.”

Donna Jessop: “I still can’t believe I will never see your cheeky smiling face in my kitchen again. What a complete waste. WHY is life so cruel?

“The world is a sadder place without you. Lots of love, sleep well sweet boy, we miss you RIP XXXX.”