Jun 2 2010 By James Cracknell
Eighteen-year-old James Whybrow, was killed in a head-on collision on May 29 when the red Ford Fiesta he was a passenger in hit an oncoming BMW in Cuckoo Hill, on the north-eastern boundary of Hillingdon borough.
Tributes have since poured in for the biking enthusiast and carpentry apprentice, from Pinner Green, who was a former pupil of Haydon School. Mother Deirdre Whybrow told the Gazette: "He had the most amazing life, a fun-loving teenager who lived life to the full.
"Everybody said James was their best friend."
The Fiesta's 17-year-old driver, a close friend, was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting. He remains in a serious but stable condition. Paramedics declared James dead at the scene.
The three occupants of the BMW, including a two-year-old, suffered minor injuries. A 25-year-old woman was treated at Northwick Hospital but has since been released.
Dozens of flower bouquets have been left at the crash site, between Chamberlain Way and High View. A tribute from best friend Luke Jahn read: "Without you I will only be half complete."
James had a bike workshop in his garden and friends from all over west London would often visit. His 'second home' was the Dingles cycle track in Montesole Park, which James helped to create when he was 13.
Mary Beckford, James's aunt, said: "He seemed to be the nucleus of the whole area, we had 50 kids here last night sharing their stories about him."
James had only just taken his second-year carpentry exams, which he passed with merit, and was in the process of gaining an NVQ qualification. His apprenticeship was at Atlantic Contractors Ltd.
Mrs Whybrow continued: "He was a people's person with enormous charm, so kind and polite. There was not a bad bone in his body.
"One parent said to me that he was a real gentleman because he always used to drive the girls home at the end of an evening."
More than 400 people have joined a Facebook tribute to James, and a number of his friends are planning a bike ride to Brighton in his memory. Before leaving Haydon School, he was nominated by his year as "boy most likely to make the class laugh".
James's tragic death follows that of 17-year-old Jack King, who was killed on 7 May when the car he was travelling in hit a tree in Elm Avenue, Eastcote.