FRIENDS have paid tribute to a young man who died after his car hit a tree in Wirral this week.

The victim, named locally as Matthew Walton, lost his life in the crash at West Kirby in the early hours of Monday morning.

The 21-year-old from Prenton was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital with serious head and chest injuries following the collision but was pronounced dead a short time later.

Dozens of tributes have been left on social media sites.

On Twitter, Matthew's friend Luke Williams said: "RIP Matthew Walton.

"He was that guy that knew how to make you laugh regardless of your mood. Top mate and a top rugby player."

Steph Carubia said: "Still can't believe it, love you so much and I’ll always remember you. RIP Matthew Walton."

Kathleen Nance added: "Another tragic death on Wirral, what a sad day."

Mikey Hughes said: "Had some horrific news and can't do anything but send thoughts to his family.

"What a lad, going to be missed, absolutely devastating. RIP Matty mate."

Police are appealing for witnesses following the crash on Column Road at around 1.40am.

The road was closed for around four hours while inquiries were carried out and investigators attended the scene.

Anyone who witnessed the accident or has any information should call the roads policing unit on 0151 777 5747.