TRIBUTES have been paid to promising Hampshire student who was killed in a car crash the day after his 21st birthday.

Jake Rebbeck died when his grey MG ZR Rover collided with a van just 10 minutes from his parent's home.

Southampton Solent University student Jake had been driving home to celebrate his birthday with family and friends.

His parents, Carl and Maggie Rebbeck, said their family who live in Wooton-Under-Edge in Gloucestershire, was utterly devastated by the tragedy.

“Jake was a beautiful, funny, loving son, brother and uncle and life without him and his infectious smile is unimaginable,” they said.

“He was happy, vibrant and a wonderful storyteller who would put a smile on anyone's face with his humorous take on life.”

His parents added: “He is profoundly missed by his brother and sister, and he was, with them, the light of our lives.”

“It is as if a switch has been turned off - but the light burns ever bright.

“His joy for life will remain and endure forever as a precious gift for all who were privileged to have known him.

”Jake grew up in Wotton, in Gloucestershire, attending Blue Coat Primary School and Katharine Lady Berkeley's School."

He went on to study at Cirencester College and had spent much of the year before university working at Hunter's Hall in Calcot.

He was in his first year of a foundation degree in Business Studies and his parents said he was enjoying the new and exciting chapter of his life in Southampton.

Flowers from grieving family and friends have been left the site between Hunter's Hall and Calcot.

Emergency services attended the scene and the road was closed off for a number of hours while traffic was diverted via Newington Barn.

Many of Jake's loved ones gathered at the weekend to comfort each other and share their happy memories.

He leaves behind brother Toby, 28, sister Josie, 31, and her two young children.

Newport County goalkeeper Jamie Stephens, who comes from Wotton and has previously played for Liverpool Football Club, said Jake was one of the funniest people he knew.

Writing on Twitter he said: “Hugely saddened and shocked to hear Jake Rebbeck was killed this morning in a car crash. R.I.P to a top friend, condolences to all family.

“Going to be missed by so many and I'm so upset to read this news.”

Taylor Williams posted, “Rest in peace Jake Rebbeck thoughts go out to you and your family,” while Perry Ball described him as a “truly lovely guy.”

An inquest into Jake's death on March 5 at 5.50am was opened and adjourned by the Gloucestershire Coroner.