The family of a teenage boy and his grandfather who died when a train struck a car they were in at a level crossing in Sussex, have paid tribute to them.

William Hallett, 15, and Barry Hearnshaw, 72, died at the scene following the incident at the Barns Green level crossing in Horsham on Saturday morning (February, 17).

In a statement to both of them, William was described as an ‘intelligent, high grade achiever, who aspired to be an airline pilot’, while Barry was described as ‘a man who loved his family dearly’.

Speaking about William, they said:

“Will was a loving son, brother and grandson.

“He was handsome, intelligent and extremely active.

“He was a talented footballer and idealised Chelsea FC.

“He was often found kicking a ball about on our village green and played locally for Horsham Sparrows.

William played locally for the Horsham Sparrows.

“We are utterly devastated by this tragic accident that has robbed us of our gorgeous, lovable and cheeky son.

“It has also deprived his younger brother Henry of a fantastic role model, although we all have many fantastic memories which we will hold onto dearly.

“It has left an immense hole in our world, which can never be filled.”

Speaking about Barry, the family said:

“We are all struggling to come to terms with the loss of our devoted husband, father and grandfather.

“He was a man who loved his family dearly and also gave so much to so many people.

“Until his retirement he worked in special education, and it was education that was always his passion.

“He devoted his life to improving the lives of so many through his work, and before his retirement he fulfilled his dream of becoming headmaster.

“He carried on working in education after his retirement, helping a number of schools to improve.

“His contribution to the community and his family was immeasurable and we will all miss him dearly.”

William was also a student at Tanbridge House School in Horsham, who have called him a ‘wonderful person and student’.

In a statement, they said:

“Will was highly intelligent and a model student who is held in the highest regard by his peers and staff.

“He was universally popular and always showed the very best qualities of being kind, generous and caring.

“Will put others before himself and is a role model for others.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to Will’s family at this awful time.”