A POPULAR member of The Mayflower theatre team has been killed in a motorbike crash in California.

Staff at the Southampton venue have been left devastated by the death of Ian Ferguson, their IT development officer for the past eight years.

Known and loved as an avid adventurer, the 32- year-old commuted to work from the Cowes home he shared with his partner Corine Wood-Donnelly.

Mayflower chief executive Dennis Hall paid tribute to Ian, a former student at the University of Southampton.

He told the Daily Echo : “Speaking on behalf of all the staff here at the theatre I can say that we are all devastated at this tragic news.

The Mayflower is one big family, and to lose one of our own, especially one as young and talented as Ian, is a big blow to us all.

“Because of the nature of his role he was known to virtually every member of staff in the company. All our thoughts go to Corine and Ian’s family in Devon at this sad time.”

Originally from Powys, Wales, Ian joined The Mayflower in June 2004, originally working in the marketing department. He created and ran The Mayflower’s website using his talents to develop a site that was the envy of the industry. Ever the adventurer Ian enjoyed holidays to far flung destinations including Taiwan and Iceland.

He was at the end of a trip which combined a two-week holiday with his girlfriend and a work conference.

He stayed on to tour California by motorbike and was riding a Ducati along State Route 18 in Big Bear City when the collision with a pick-up truck happened on Friday.