A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has died after crashing a car into a tree in Burnley while trying to overtake.

The teenager has been named locally as Mohammed Toheed, of Nelson.

The Marsden Height Community College pupil was driving a BMW 318SE along Ridge Avenue when the accident happened shortly after 9.40pm on Thursday.

Police said there was nobody else in the car at the time of crash and the car had not been reported stolen.

Firefighters from Burnley spent around 90 minutes trying to free Mohammed from the wreckage.

The popular teen was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital by ambulance at around 11.15pm but died a short time later.

Specially trained officers are now supporting his family, police said.

Residents and community leaders said the accident has ‘devastated’ the community and it was a ‘waste of a life’.

Ian Adlington, Marsden Heights Community College headteacher, said: “Mohammed’s death has very much set the tone for the day.

“There have been a lot of tears.

“Many people are quite distraught.

“It’s come as a huge shock to them.

“He was a very popular lad with an extensive group of friends.

“Mohammed was a typical young lad really. I’m really sad to say this has happened.

“We talk about the dangers that are out there in life generally, but the realisation these things can actually happen without warning comes as a shock to all of us.”

Flowers have been left at the scene by some of Mohammed’s friends who have also taken to social media to pay their condolences.

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, Pendle Council leader, said: “It’s tragic.

“It’s a loss of a young life, no matter what the circumstances were.

“My appeal is to parents really. At 16 he shouldn’t have been driving the car in the first place.

“We need parents and the wider community to warn their children about the dangers of under-age driving because it ends up in a tragedy like this.”

Dr Misfar Hassan, Burnley Central East ward councillor, said: “It’s devastating for the community, the family and everyone around that young family and everyone around that young man.

“It’s a waste of a life.

“We need to work with the police and other departments to find a way of preventing it.

“We need to take some serious action with it.”

Ridge Avenue resident Andrew Clare said: “My wife heard a siren going down the road but I was out at the pub quiz last night.

“I got back just after 11.30pm and everything was going on.

“There were ambulances, police cars and fire engines.

“The police were on the estate and they had roped everything off and the guy had already been taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital.

“It’s horrendous for anyone to lose their life, but for someone so young it somehow makes it worse.

“My thoughts are with his family at what must be a horrendous time.”

Another resident said: “I was going upstairs to get ready for bed and I saw the blue flashing lights coming from the top of the road.

“By the time I got downstairs they were at the scene.

“One of the neighbour’s across the road heard the bang and they ran outside to help.

“It’s terrible for someone at 16 to lose their life. His family must be going through hell.”

A dog walker said: “It’s tragic for someone to lose their life before it’s really begun.”

Officers are now urging anyone who saw the BMW in the lead up to the crash to come forward.

Sgt Nigel Ralphson, from the Road Policing Unit, said: “This is an extremely tragic incident where a young man has lost his life and our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

“I am keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision, particularly the driver of a car that was being driven along Ridge Avenue at around 9.40pm from the direction of Queen’s Park, which possibly had to swerve on to the nearside verge due to an oncoming car.

“Similarly, if anyone saw the blue BMW 3 series being driven around the area that evening we would also like to speak with them.”

Anyone with information should call 101.