Tributes paid to NI crash soldier

Tributes paid to NI crash soldier

Tributes have been paid to a soldier from Northern Ireland who died when the car he was travelling in hit a tree near an Army base in England.

Afghanistan veteran Trooper Mark McKeen, 23, from Northern Ireland, died alongside Codie Richardson, 20, from Stockton-on-Tees.They were in a Seat Ibiza which crashed near Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, on Saturday evening.Both were serving soldiers with The Royal Dragoon Guards, North Yorkshire Police said.Paying tribute, Major Hugh Pearce-Gould, Officer Commanding B (The Black Horse) Squadron, said: "Trooper Mark McKeen was a well rounded individual and a first class soldier; his loss will be keenly felt by all who knew him."He was a popular and engaging member of the regiment. He served with great courage and dedication on two difficult and dangerous tours of Afghanistan."His untimely loss is a terrible tragedy but his memory will always be cherished by The Royal Dragoon Guards and those of us fortunate enough to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."Speaking on Pte Richardson, he added: "She embraced being in a cavalry regiment and seized the opportunity to take up horse riding. She was also a very caring, considerate person and always put the needs of others first."Our deepest sympathies are with her family and friends at this difficult time. She will be greatly missed by the regiment."Police have said no other vehicles were involved in the collision on Leyburn Road, near the entrance to Catterick Golf Club, at 8.05pm

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