A FAMILY have paid tribute to their teenage son after he died in a fall from a bridge.
The family of Joey Prew believe his death was a tragic accident.
Joey fell from the bridge over Nimrod Drive, in Rowner, Gosport, at about 2am on Sunday.
Yesterday dozens of friends gathered there to pay respects to the popular 17-year-old.
More than 100 bunches of flowers were left under the bridge, many with cards, and the tributes continued to grow as more people gathered there throughout the day and into the evening.
Others had written poems and letters or left candles for their friend at the scene.
A Chelsea FC football top had been tied from the bridge’s footpath for Joey, who was a huge fan of the club.
The youngster’s family in Handley Road in Gosport are trying to comes to terms with the loss.
Dad Alan Prew said: ‘It was a tragic accident – he was just trying to take a short-cut home.’
Speaking for his brother Jimmy, sister Georgie Hollis and dad, mum Donna Prew said: ‘As a family we are totally devastated by our loss of our beautiful boy, Joey.
‘We ask that we have respect and privacy as a family and would like to thank everyone for their support.’
Family friend and neighbour Darren Edwards added: ‘I would have been proud for him to have been my son. He put my own son Billy, who’s the same age as Joey, on the right road and really helped him out.’
Among the many tributes to the former Brune Park School pupil at the bridge were handwritten notes.
One read: ‘You were the kindest person anyone could ever meet. You are gonna be missed so much by so many. I miss you so much, sleep tight angel.’ Another unsigned message said: ‘It was a huge privilege to know you. You are one of the best lads I’ve met.
‘Rest in complete peace bruvva. Love you.’
‘I won’t forget all the good times we had in Motiv8,’ read a further message. ‘You will be missed by everyone and we will all be thinking of you.’
Joey had also been a keen footballer, and played for his school in English schools national finals. He had also played for the Spartan Colts.
More than 350 friends have joined a Facebook group where friends have left their tributes.
Death is not suspicious, police say
POLICE confirmed that they were called to Nimrod Drive in the early hours of Sunday.
They received an emergency call at 2.12am.
The police have confirmed that Joey Prew’s death is not being treated as suspicious and have been in close contact with the family since.
A file will be handed to the coroner’s office by the police and an inquest will be opened in the next few days.
A full inquest will take place looking into the circumstances of Joey’s death.
It is likely to be several months before that inquest takes place.