The heartbroken families of three teenagers killed in a high-speed crash have spoken of their devastating loss as the driver was jailed.

Louis Banks, 17, Aaron Bell 18, and 18-year-old Tommy Shevels, all died instantly when the Alfa Romeo they were travelling in smashed into a tree when Joshua Chapman lost control of his car.

The three friends grew up together in rural North Yorkshire and had their entire lives in front of them before they died following the fatal collision as travelled from Bedale to Masham along the B6268.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Chapman had been tailgating another car and driving at excessive speed in the minutes leading up to the crash just before 11pm on July 29, 2022.

In moving tributes, all three families spoke of the devastation that Chapman’s dangerous driving had reeked across their lives.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Louis BanksLouis Banks (Image: Family hand out)

Louise Banks, the mother of Louis, said: “Losing Louis has changed our lives forever.

“Louis was a good, kind, loving beautiful boy inside and out. His beautiful cheeky smile lit up a room. On July 29, 2022, we joined a club we never wanted to be in and now can never leave. Bereaved parents.

“His siblings Harry and Gracie losing their loving noisy annoying brother.

“Louis loved life and farming, a ball of constant energy, he had big plans for his life, he knew that farming was all he wanted to do.

“He was a hard-working young man who would do anything to help anyone. He had his whole life in front of him. He had a fantastic circle of friends who I know miss him dearly.

“Louis never got embarrassed to show his feelings, he never had the grunting teenager stage, there was always a ‘love ya’ at the end of the day and those were his last words to me, my birthday the day he was killed.

“We miss the joy, the noise, the laughter that Louis brought to our lives, the silence now is deafening. Nothing I write can do my boy justice. Louis should still be here but he’s not.

“We will be forever proud and lucky to have had him in our lives for those 17 years. Our love for him will always remain.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Aaron BellAaron Bell (Image: Family hand out)

The family of Aaron Bell said: “Aaron had become an inspirational young man, he was our world, our son, Luke's big bro and our best buddy.

“He was kind, caring and hardworking. Aaron was a talented sportsman, fast, strong, gifted, witty yet humble.

“He was tenacious and his love and passion for rugby, cricket, showing sheep and life was unwavering.

“Aaron was destined to succeed in whatever he wanted to do. He had the world at his feet. He had a cheeky smile and a contagious laugh that would light up any room. He was one of the reasons we got up in the morning.

“Aaron's zest for life was an ever-burning flame, igniting passion and inspiration in everyone who had the privilege to know him. He touched so many lives. Aaron was an adored grandson and nephew.

“He leaves behind his rugby brothers and close friends who have been an incredible source of strength and comfort to us.

“A life so full of promise cut short, cruelly taken from us all. Our world has fallen apart and our lives forever changed. Our hearts are broken and the unimaginable pain of losing a child will stay with us forever.

“A huge hole has been left that can never be filled. No sentence today will justify the loss of Aaron, his life needlessly taken. We have to live with the consequences of the driver’s actions for the rest of our lives, we are as a family living a life sentence for something that should never have happened.

“Grief is a lonely road to walk. Grief is just love that has no place to go, Grief is the price we are now paying for loving Aaron, and we loved him more than words can describe.

“As much as we are forever broken inside, we have made a promise to our boys, Aaron, and Luke that we will find some strength no matter how long it takes us to try and live life again and we will use Aaron’s memories to be our inspiration for today and all our tomorrows.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Tommy ShevelsTommy Shevels (Image: Family hand out)

Tommy Shevel’s family said: "Losing our eldest son Tommy has devastated our family’s lives and the heartbreak has left huge holes in our hearts. Our younger son Ted is completely devastated. He loved and looked up to Tommy, he is missing him terribly as we all are.

“Tommy was the friendliest, kindest, and most caring boy. He was full of enthusiasm for life. Tommy was a boy who always had time for others and loved spending time with his family and friends, always with the biggest smile on his face.

“Our biggest regret is that we weren’t there to stop Tommy, Louis and Aaron getting in Joshua Chapman’s car on the night of the 29 of July 2022. His reckless behaviour devastated the lives of three families that night.

“We are so proud of the young man Tommy was turning into and we are going to love and miss him forever."

Chapman, who was 18 at the time of the crash, also sustained serious injuries including multiple fractures and a head injury.

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced the 20-year-old to nine years and four months in custody.

Chapman, of Mosquito Garth, Bedale, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to three charges of causing death by dangerous driving.