FRIENDS of a teenager who died in a road crash have rallied round and raised a staggering £11,500 to support his family.

Erikas Eicas, 19, who was better known as Eric, died after the red Ford Fiesta he was a passenger in went into a tree along Coggeshall Road, near Earls Colne.

Following his tragic death, his friends have set up a fundraising page on Facebook in order to pay for his funeral and also install a memorial bench in his honour.

The fundraising page says: “The pain we are all going through right now is unimaginable I want to be able to take the stress of funeral costs away from Eric’s family and help to maybe get a bench in memory of him.

“Even if you can’t donate, please share.

“This boy deserves the best possible send off and his family do as well.”

So far, in just ten days, almost 650 people have donated, raising just over £11,500 in memory of Eric, who worked for Michaels Property Consultants in the Colchester office.

An inquest into Mr Eicas’s death was opened at Essex Coroner’s Court on Tuesday.

Coroner’s officer Marianne Robson said: “This gentleman was a front passenger in a vehicle travelling from Coggeshall in the general direction of Earls Colne.

“The vehicle had left the road at the nearside and collided with a tree.

“This gentleman was pronounced dead at the scene. Essex Police are investigating the death and there may be a possible prosecution.”

A post-mortem examination found Mr Eicas died as a result of suffering severe chest injuries.

Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray adjourned the hearing but did not fix a date for a full inquest due to the police investigation into the crash, which happened at about 1.40am on August 2.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Essex Police 101 quoting incident 164 of August 2.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.