The family of a 21-year-old man killed on the main road between Wincanton and Castle Cary have been left “devastated” by his death.
Former Sexey’s School pupil Dominic Baker died in a road collision on the A371 near Bratton Seymour on Thursday evening.
He was the son of Clifford Baker, head lad at Paul Nicholls’ racing stable in Ditcheat.
Clifford said: “Along with my wife Sarah, my daughter Danielle, and our daughter Charlotte, we are absolutely devastated by what has happened.
“Dominic was the most genuine lad that you could possibly wish to meet.
“He will live on in all our thoughts, and never a day will go by when we don’t think of him.”
Emergency services were called at around 10.35pm after reports that a Renault Clio, driven by Mr Baker, had hit a tree.
The former team leader at the Co-operative Food, Wincanton, died at the scene.
Champion race horse trainer Mr Nicholls said everyone at the stable was devastated by the news.
He said: “Clifford’s family and everybody here are just devastated.
“We all knew Dominic, he grew up with my kids, and it is just impossible to find words to explain how we feel. It is so sad.”
Mr Baker attended Sexey’s School, Bruton, in September 2004 before moving to Yeovil College to undertake his A levels.
Raymond McGovern, headteacher at Sexey’s School, paid tribute to his former pupil.
He said: “It was with great sadness that I learned that Dominic had died in a road traffic accident last week.
“He was a bright and able scholar achieving 14 GCSEs. As Mr Morison, Dominic’s housemaster and form teacher, recalls, the thing that we will remember most about Dominic was his very quiet and gentle manner. As a school community it is always sad to learn about the death of a former student, but especially someone so young, who many in the school will know and remember as being such a warm and friendly person.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
Chris Griffiths, store manager at The Co-operative Food, in Wincanton, also expressed his sadness.
He said: “Dominic Baker had only worked with us for a number of weeks but was already a valued member of our store team.
“His death has deeply saddened us all and our sympathies are with Dominic’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Mr Baker was travelling home in the direction of Castle Cary when the incident occurred.
Avon and Somerset Police have launched an appeal for witnesses to the crash.
Anyone with information should contact police by calling the non-emergency number 101.