THE families of two teenagers who died in a collision on the A61 near Thirsk have paid tribute to the “beloved” boys.

Seventeen-year-olds George Thomas Turner, from Sowerby, and Mason Pearson, from Thirsk, were killed in the crash at Busby Stoop on March 7.

They were both rear seat passengers in a green VW Bora, which collided with a black Ford Focus.

In a statement George’s family said the teenager had been looking forward to his 18th birthday: “George was a beloved son and brother, taken far too soon.

“He always had a smile on his face, he was a happy cheeky chappie.

“George was a popular lad and had several very good friends, he was intelligent and highly thought of by work colleagues.

“He was a sporty lad and played football at Thirsk Falcon Football Club and cricket with Thirsk Cricket Club.

“He enjoyed a bet, and was looking forward to his 18th birthday, when he would be able to place his first official stake with a betting operator.

“George was an avid Leeds United fan, just like his dad. He enjoyed eating pizza and was Milano Pizza Place’s best non-paying customer.

“George was such a bright light, who will continue to shine.”

Mason’s family paid tribute to their “beautiful” son and brother.

They said: “The void that has been left in our life is unbearable and beyond repair.

“Our hearts are shattered, we just want our boy safely back with us.

“Mason, our beautiful son and brother, was a fun-loving teenager with a zest for life.

“He was a hard worker who was making plans for his future, hardly able to contain his glee at soon becoming 18.

“He loved being with his friends, and an ideal Saturday was going with them to watch his one love, Middlesbrough Football Club.”

An 18-year-old and a 17-year-old who were also travelling in the VW Bora remain in hospital in a critical condition.

A 27-year-old man, three-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy who had been travelling in the Ford Focus have been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment.

A 24-year-old woman who had been in the Ford Focus is still in hospital but her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A 22-year-old local man who was driving the VW Bora has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was released on bail while police continue their investigation.

Anyone with information should call police on 101, select option two and quote reference 12180039673, or email