TRIBUTES have been paid to a teenager left to die on a Sheffield street after he was thrown from a vehicle which sped off following a car smash.
Travis O’Neil - described by a friend as a ‘lovely lad’ who ‘didn’t deserve to die’ - was found covered in blood on Arbourthorne Road, near the junction with Eastern Avenue, after the collision.
A 4x4 Jeep-style vehicle smashed into a black Volkswagen Golf then sped off leaving the 19-year-old fatally injured by the kerb.
Shocked residents and paramedics battled in vain to save him and he was taken to the Northern General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6.40pm on Tuesday.
Today Detective Superintendent Terry Mann said: “The post mortem has revealed injuries which are consistent with a road accident.
“I know there were initially rumours going around that he had been stabbed or beaten up but that is not the case.”
The investigation has been handed over to the roads policing team who are trying to trace the 4x4.
George Taylor, aged 61, said his wife Carol heard a loud bang, and he looked out to see Travis in the road.
“He was laid on the floor, people ran across and were checking his pulse.
“It’s absolutely awful. He was lying on his back. It was horrendous.”
Yesterday the ground was covered in plastic sheeting to protect forensic evidence and there were skid marks on the road.
The driver of the Golf, a woman, 56, and her 58-year-old male passenger, were not hurt.
Meanwhile tributes have been left at the scene.
A local man who knew the victim said: “It’s a tragedy. He didn’t deserve to die. I hope the police catch whoever has done it.
“I knew him growing up. He was a lovely lad. I would put my hand on my heart and say I’ve never known him cause any trouble anywhere. He always stopped to say ‘hello’.”
One message read ‘Miss you so much Travis, RIP, thoughts are with all your family’, while another said ‘Can’t believe you’re gone so soon, you’ll always be in our hearts, the angels will look after you.’
Friends have set up a tribute page on Facebook. One pal wrote: “We went to primary school together, we grew up together, stayed in contact until this day and never once
argued. Never gone nor forgotten.”
Christine Rhodes said: “RIP Trav, love you loads, how could any one drive off and leave such a lovely lad?”
A police spokesman said: “Officers are still trying to trace a 4x4-style vehicle and the driver of that vehicle, which failed to stop.
“We are receiving a great deal of assistance from the public and enquiries are ongoing.”
Anyone with information should ring 101.