Aaron Bell: Bishop Burton College pays tribute to rugby academy player killed in Bedale crash

Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire has released a tribute to student Aaron Bell after the 18-year-old's death in a car crash.

Aaron, from Jervaulx near Masham, died on Friday night alongside his friend and team-mate Louis Banks and another teenage boy when a car driven by an 18-year-old man who was seriously injured crashed on Masham Road, near Thornton Watlass.

Aaron and Louis had attended Bedale High School together and played rugby for Wensleydale RUFC since the age of seven.

Aaron was studying sport at Bishop Burton College and was part of their rugby academy. He had also made his 1st XV debut for Wensleydale.

Aaron Bell (photo: Bishop Burton College)

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The college said: "It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to one of our young Bishop Burton College students, Aaron Bell, who was taken from us suddenly over the weekend.

"Aaron was a popular member of our rugby academy and was the very personification of all the values we continue to adhere to as a sports programme. Hardworking, respectful, thoughtful and a very tough player, Aaron always put the team first before himself and this was evident when he took to the field, either in training or during matches. He will be sorely missed by his peers and staff at Bishop Burton College.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Aaron’s family at this very sad time."

In March, Aaron and and nine other sport students from Bishop Burton travelled to Australia to take part in work experience placement programmes within the sport and leisure industry.

He was also a talented footballer and cricketer.

Aaron was from a sheep farming family and lived with his mother Nicola, stepfather Andrew Percy and younger half-brother Luke, eight. He was a regular in young handler classes and was a Wensleydale Show champion in 2015.

In 1999, Aaron's uncle Ian Bell, then 27, was driving two team-mates home from a Malton and Norton rugby match when his Land Rover left the road and overturned. The cab collapsed and severed Ian's spinal cord, leaving him paralysed from the shoulders down. At the time, Ian was managing Ampleforth Abbey's dairy operation, but had to return to his family's hill farm in Askrigg. He has since set up an ox roast business and runs a fish and chip van.

Ramsay's FIsh and Chip van said on Facebook: "Many of you will have seen the news of a car accident that has taken the lives of three teenagers, and left one in hospital receiving treatment. One of the young lads was Aaron Bell. Aaron not only helped us on the van but is also the nephew of Ian, owner of the van.

"It goes without saying that this is an extremely hard time for the whole family as they process and grieve the loss of a truly wonderful young man.

"With this in mind, we have made the decision to suspend the round for this week. The van runs out of Ian’s home, so in order to give the family time to be together and support one another they need space and time. We know you will all understand this decision.

"Take care of yourselves and hug your loved ones tight."

The third boy killed in the collision, which did not involve any other vehicles, has not been named.