THE devastated father of a Hampshire teenage girl who died in a crash on the A31 has paid tribute to his “cheeky, beautiful” daughter.

Sixteen-year-old Jade Clark was riding her red scooter near Ringwood when the fatal collision took place.

The youngster was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have refused to confirm how many vehicles were involved in the incident – which led to traffic chaos across Hampshire – although it is believed to be more than two.

The crash happened at around 8.20pm on Sunday between the Verwood slip-road and the Ashley Heath roundabout, the junction of the A31 and A338.

Jade’s devastated father, William Herald, said he was still struggling to take in the tragic news.

Mr Herald, who split up with Jade’s mother, Sharon, more than three years ago, said: “I just feel sick. “I’m going to lay some flowers at the scene later. It’s all I can think to do.

“She had her whole life in front of her.

“She’d not been riding the bike long – probably a couple of months I think.

“It’s just so sad. I can’t believe it.

“Ultimately I just hope she didn’t suffer but apart from that I don’t know what to think. I can’t process it.

“Jade was always a very happy child – cheeky. She was a black belt in karate and had lots of friends. She will be missed.

“She would have been 17 years old in June.

“She never wanted for anything. She was just always happy and content with what she had. Absolutely beautiful.

“It’s such a cruel, cruel world.”

Jade was a former pupil at Ringwood School, having left summer to follow her love of hairdressing by starting a college course.

Ringwood School head teacher Chris Edwards said: “She had a lively, bubbly personality and was always full of life.

“She will be remembered as someone who had a huge heart, always willing to help others in difficulty – a really positive force for good.

“Jade was always grateful for everything life had to offer.

“She wanted to improve herself, and refused to let things hold her back. She dropped in to see us on a regular basis to let us know how she was getting on, and to thank people for their help and support.

“It was a real joy to see the progress she had made, an independent, confident young woman enjoying life to the full.

“Our thoughts and best wishes go to her family and friends at this difficult time.”

Tributes were also posted by friends of Jade’s on social networking sites.

One friend, from NewMilton, said on Facebook: “RIP Jade, you were one girl who always made me laugh whatever we were doing and we never failed to have a good time.

“We had so many good times together, like running around town at random times and being completely weird, but now you’re gone. You were an amazing girl.”

Another friend said: “Woke up this morning to the worst news. We will all miss you forever and ever Jade Clark. RIP beautiful.”