Bolivian car crash victim was joining Leeds University, family reveal in heartbreaking tributes

Freddie McLennan, who had been accepted at Leeds University, died in a crash at the Bolivian salt flats on Sunday
Freddie McLennan, who had been accepted at Leeds University, died in a crash at the Bolivian salt flats on Sunday
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A young man killed in a horrific car crash in Bolivia was excited to join Leeds University.

Tributes have been paid to Freddie McLennan, who died in the crash alongside friend Joe Atkins on Sunday.

Joe Atkins also died in the crash

Joe Atkins also died in the crash

Both 19-year-olds had been travelling in South America after finishing their A levels and were in a car on Bolivia's salt flats when it flipped.

Bolivian authorities said the 22-year-old driver - named locally as Alberto Barco - also died in the crash. A third British man, understood to be a friend of Mr McLennan and Mr Atkins, who were from Kent.

Freddie McLennan had been accepted to study in Leeds and was looking forward to university following the trip, his heartbroken family said in a statement.

Paying tribute, they said Freddie was an exceptional young man who was "as caring as he was fun".

"He excelled at school and his exam results were a source of great pride," they said.

"He was thoroughly enjoying his opportunity to travel and experience new parts of the world, before preparing for the next stage in his life at Leeds University."

READ MORE: Yorkshire police officer Paul Dee killed in tragic double fatal crash
Mr McLennan's family added: "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."

Mr Atkins' family said: "Joe had a character brimming with kindness and humility, and anyone that knew him was struck by his understated yet self-assured nature.

"Quietly intuitive, he always knew the right thing to say, and the role that he decided to play as the calming presence and fiercely loyal friend, will be forever appreciated by those that knew him.

"Always seeking the fun side of life as a little boy, he grew up to be a young man that loved family dog walks as much as nights out with friends, and he remained quietly ambitious and determined in his pursuit of a career in engineering, for which he achieved such fantastic A-level results."

The Atkins family added: "In a recent call to his family, he was clearly so elated with the adventure he'd been sharing with his best friends. He said just how much he was looking forward to being back to enjoy home comforts, and to move on to the next stage at the University of Bristol.

"Joey was the son that gave us endless pride, the brother that brought laughter to our home and the friend that you'd always want by your side."

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."