Promising footballer, 18, killed in head-on taxi crash – with another 8 injured

Charlie Hopkins had seven passengers in his Volkswagen Polo when it ploughed into an oncoming taxi in Tongham, Surrey – he was killed with his passengers and the taxi driver also rushed to hospital

The “promising” teen footballer killed in a head-on crash has been named by police.

Charlie Hopkins was carrying seven passengers in his Volkswagen Polo when it ploughed into an oncoming taxi in Tongham, Surrey on Saturday night.

His family have paid tribute to the 18-year-old, who played for Combined Counties League Premier Division side Frimley Green.

“Charlie was a talented footballer who played for his local team Frimley Green FC U18s,” they said in a statement.

“As an only child, he leaves behind his heartbroken parents who ask for privacy at this very difficult time.”

In the days since, condolences have poured in for the popular young player.

Posting tributes on his Instagram page, pals shared pictures and videos of him partying at a festival.

The caption says “Rest in paradise my boy. Gonna miss you some, one of the funniest around.

“It’s gonna be different without but but you’ll still always be with us and the boys rest easy up there love you bro.”

The post ends with the date of the accident, September 26, 2021.

James Ferguson, one of the lads injured, posted a tribute message to his late pal from hospital.

Sharing a photo of his face covered in bandages, cuts and bruises, he wrote: “Just to let everyone know I’m doing fine.

“Doctor said I should hopefully be out tomorrow.

“Thank you for all the messages my love is with all the boys involved as well. RIP Chig.”

James was enrolled as a student at football college Complete Academy, along with another one of the lads who was injured, The Mirror understands.

Frimley Green FC, who the deceased teen and his injured teammates played football for, confirmed with the Mirror yesterday members of their club were involved in the fatal collision.

According to Surrey Police, two of the passengers were initially in critical condition.

All seven in the car and the taxi driver were taken to hospital.

The identities of several of the passengers are yet to be confirmed.

Frimley Green FC yesterday expressed their heartbreak over losing a “promising young player”.

“It is with great sadness that Fimley Green Football Club confirms the tragic loss of one of our promising young U18 players in a fatal car accident Saturday night”, they wrote on their social media pages.

“Several other club players were involved in the incident and remain in hospital, some in intensive care.”

Hundreds of people shared their condolences with the team on the posts.

The taxi driver was not carrying passengers at the time and sustained only minor injuries. He was taken to hospital but later discharged.

Images emerged yesterday of floral tributes being laid at the scene of the crash on Oxenden Road.

Lead investigator Detective Sergeant Kani Barawi said in a press release: “Our thoughts remain with the families of the boys involved in this tragic incident, which has left one teenager dead and two more in a serious condition in hospital.

“We are working hard to establish the circumstances of the crash and would appeal to anyone with any information to contact us straightaway.”

The detective confirmed with The Mirror the collision had taken place and asked for witnesses to get in touch if they saw anything.

A post mortem examination is to be carried out on the dead driver’s body to ascertain the exact cause of his death and an inquest will be opened and adjourned later by the Surrey coroner.

Police were understood to be investigating why the Polo was carrying eight people and whether the number of people contributed to the crash.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: “We are appealing for witnesses following a fatal collision in Tongham.

“The teenage driver of a Volkswagen Polo was sadly killed when the car collided head-on with a taxi travelling in the opposite direction in Oxenden Road just after 1am.

“The front seat passenger and six other passengers were taken to hospital. The front seat passenger and one of the back seat passengers suffered serious injuries and remain in hospital.

“The taxi driver suffered minor injuries and was also taken to hospital. He was not carrying any passengers at the time.”

Frimley Green FC play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division and play at the Frimley Green Recreation Ground.