TRIBUTES have been paid to a young Portsmouth couple who were killed in a motorcycle crash.
Julian Farley, 25, and Jessica Ellis, 23, from Tudor Crescent, Cosham, died after the black Triumph motorcycle they were riding crashed into a road sign on the A339 between Basingstoke and Alton.
Police say the crash happened as a Nissan Micra tried to overtake a car at 6.30pm on Saturday evening.
Mr Farley, the rider of the motorcycle, was travelling behind the Micra when he lost control and hit the sign.
The driver of the Nissan Micra – a 17-year-old male from Alton – was uninjured.
But he was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and has been bailed pending further inquiries.
It’s believed the couple had been going out for six months and that Julian had only taken delivery of his Triumph bike last month.
Briony McNamara, a close friend of Jessica, described the 23-year-old as a ‘very happy person’.
She had employed Jessica at her Busy B pet care firm in Southsea for the past two-and-a-half years.
She said: ‘Everyone loved Jess. She was a wonderful, amazing person and was the most reliable person as an employee.
‘She was an animal lover and loved her dog Arnold.
‘She will be absolutely missed by everyone.’
The news of the young couple’s death was met with shock in the block of flats where they lived.
Neighbours Laura Griffen and Callum Coker said they would say hello to the couple if they crossed paths in the corridor.
Miss Griffen said: ‘They were a normal, happy couple with a dog.
Lucy Burdfield, who lives with husband Aaron, added: ‘I would like to pass on our deepest sympathies to their families.
‘People in this block look out for each other. We are shocked and very sad to hear this news.’
Police say their investigation will focus on why the motorbike lost control.
In doing so they are trying to trace the driver of a blue vehicle which the Micra had overtaken.
Officers say it continued on its journey, possibly oblivious to the crash.
Sgt Paul Plews, of Farnborough Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘This is a very sad incident where two young people lost their lives.
‘We are appealing for anyone who may have information regarding the collision, no matter how small or insignificant they feel it is to contact us.’
Anyone who saw the collision, the two vehicles involved prior to it, or a blue vehicle on the A339 at the time, should call PC Nick Barman at Farnborough Roads Policing Unit on 101.