Tributes Paid To Stockton Soldier

4 February 2014, 14:22 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Tributes have been paid to two soldiers, one of them from Stockton-on-Tees, who died when the car they were travelling in hit a tree near an Army base

Afghanistan veteran Trooper Mark McKeen, who was 23 and from Northern Ireland was in the car with 20 year old Codie Richardson from Stockton.

The Seat Ibiza which crashed near Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire on Saturday.

Both were serving soldiers with The Royal Dragoon Guards.

Speaking on behalf of The Royal Dragoon Guards, 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.''

Maj Pearce-Gould said:
"Private Codie Richardson had only been with the regiment for five months but had made a very positive impression on both her squadron and the catering department. Outgoing, keen and personable, she was always willing to take on new challenges.

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.