Tributes pour in from across Shrewsbury to four teenagers found dead in Wales after search operation
The tragic discovery of the bodies of four missing Shrewsbury teenagers in a crashed car has prompted an outpouring of tributes from across the town.
A search for Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Fitchett and Hugo Morris was launched by police after the boys were reported missing on Sunday.
The alarm was raised after the boys did not return home from an overnight camping trip to Snowdonia.
On Tuesday police announced officers searching for the boys found a silver Ford Fiesta they had been believed to have travelled in, and later confirmed that four bodies were found in the vehicle.
Yesterday morning a member of the public reported a vehicle that appeared to have left the A4085 at Garreg. Police say the car was found on its roof and partially submerged in water.
A statement by North Wales Police said: "Sadly, we can confirm four bodies have been recovered from a car which appears to have left the road on the A4085 at Garreg, near Tremadog."
Superintendent Owain Llewelyn said: “At present, this appears to have been a tragic accident, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the four young men at this very difficult time.
“This has been an extensive search involving a number of different agencies and volunteers, and this is sadly not the outcome that any of us would have wanted. We would ask that the family be afforded the appropriate privacy and respect.”
Jevon, Harvey, Wilf and Hugo, who were A-Level students at Shrewsbury College and had formerly attended Meole Brace School, are thought to have been in the Harlech and Porthmadog areas of Gwynedd for a camping trip.
A police cordon was set up on the A4085, a small winding country road, between Garreg and Pont Aberglaslyn, and the road closed. Two Wales Ambulance Service vehicles were seen driving through the cordon early on Tuesday afternoon.
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We were called on Tuesday at approximately 10.08am to reports of an incident near the A4085 between Nantmor and Tan-Lan.
"We sent an operations manager, two emergency ambulances and two Cymru high acuity response units to the scene where we were supported by the emergency medical retrieval and transfer service in two Wales Air Ambulance charity helicopters."
Investigations are still ongoing to establish the circumstances that led to the car leaving the road.
Superintendent Llewelyn thanked emergency services, volunteer searches and members of the public, and appealed for privacy for the families of the boys "at this desperate time".
A statement from Shrewsbury Colleges Group released after the announcement said: "We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the four young men who tragically died in the suspected traffic accident.
"This news is truly heartbreaking, and our thoughts go out to those affected by this tragic news.
"We would like to thank the emergency services and local mountain rescue teams, as well as members of the public for their assistance in helping with the search and helping to locate the vehicle.
"We will be working directly with students and staff who are affected by the terrible accident and have put in place a range of support measures for all of our community."
A church in Shrewsbury said it will open its doors on Wednesday morning to give people in the community "time and space to pray" in the wake of the tragedy.
Trinity Churches Shrewsbury said on Facebook: "We've learned this afternoon of the tragic death of four teenagers in North Wales. They had recently attended Meole Brace School.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends, and the wider community at such a sad time.
"There will be some time and space to pray in the Trinity Centre on Wednesday, November 22 from 9am, and other times to be arranged."
Shrewsbury Town Council said on X, formerly Twitter: "The mayor [Becky Wall] is deeply saddened by the tragic news about the four students from Shrewsbury. Her heart goes out to their family and friends who have suffered such immeasurable loss and she sends her deepest condolences.
"May the Shrewsbury community unite at this terrible time."
Shrewsbury Street Pastors said: "Tragic news about four Shrewsbury lads. Our thoughts and prayers with the families and all of the emergency services who were called to deal with this incident. RIP."
A statement from Shrewsbury Town Football Club released on Facebook said: "The thoughts and condolences of Shrewsbury Town Football Club are with everyone affected by the heartbreaking and devastating news coming out of North Wales."
Bagley Sports & Social Club said: "Thoughts with all the families of these four young men who tragically lost their lives."
"We send them our deepest sympathies."
The Coracle Inn said in a statement: "Such heartbreaking news across the shire today.
"Our love and thoughts go out to all these poor boys' family and friends."