Two British gap year students died after their car flipped over on the world’s largest salt flat in Bolivia.
Freddie McLennan and George Atkins, both 19, were killed in the horror crash on the Salar de Uyuni, the main tourist destination in southern Bolivia.
Their Toyota Land Cruiser was apparently driving over the speed limit when it flipped over, killing the two teenagers and their 22-year-old driver on Sunday night, traffic police commander Colonel Bernardo Isnado said.
The pair, from Cranbrook, Kent, were travelling around South America on a gap year after completing their A-levels at Cranbrook School last summer.
Callum Fraser, 19, who was injured in the crash, was also a former pupil at the school.
Mr McLennan’s parents described their son as an “exceptional young man” who had finished his A-levels last year and had been due to study economics and politics at Leeds University.
In a statement published in The Times, Andrew McLennan and Miranda Porritt said: “As a son, brother, grandson, cousin and friend to all those who knew him, he was as caring as he was fun to be with. He excelled at school and his exam results were a source of great pride.
“The friends he made through Cranbrook and the different sports clubs he played with over the years know they have also lost a special individual.
“We are eternally grateful that Freddie came into our lives. We are struggling to come to terms with his passing. He brought a joy and love to us, which we will always remember, but miss greatly.”
Three others were also injured in the crash: Two Argentinians, who have been named as Walter Rossi, 22, and Francisco Ceruti, 21, and Uruguayan Gabriel Martinez Bueno, 26.
Driver Luis Alberto Barco died in the tragedy.
Video footage of the wreckage showed the mangled car with the roof caved in over the rear passenger seats.
Bernardo Isnado, a police traffic commander, said that the car appeared to have been driving over the speed limit when the crash happened.
A police investigation has been launched.
It is understood that the bodies of Mr Atkins and Mr McLennan have yet to be repatriated.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the families of three British people who were involved in a car accident in Bolivia and are in close contact with the Bolivian authorities.”