The parents of a Newtown man who died in a car crash in Devon have shared their heartbreak after losing their "amazing" son.

Joshua Ainsworth, a 20-year-old soldier, lost his life in the collision close to the military base at which he was posted near Barnstaple during the early hours of Sunday, November 19.

Joshua came from a large military family and had always wanted to be in the Army since he was a little boy growing up. The former Newtown High School pupil and Newtown Whitestars footballer was also a proud member of the town's Army Cadets.

His dad Neil Ainsworth said Joshua was a loving son to Carol and big brother to Jodie, and described him as a well-respected person who was loved by many, and who had achieved a great deal during his short life.

"We were absolutely proud," Mr Ainsworth said.

"We are still proud of him. As his parents we know how special he was but that’s been reinforced by the many calls from not only across the country but across the world.

"He was selfless in his commitment to others. He was such a special and gifted young man.

"He was a 20-year-old lad taken far too soon. From what we know from the people he came into contact with, there will be positives from this. He touched a lot of people; he inspired and supported a lot of people. We can take comfort in knowing that in his short life. He was amazing, just amazing."

The family has since visited the barracks at RMB Chivenor in north Devon to comfort Joshua's friends who are serving in the army.

"They’re the same age as Josh and they’ve probably not experienced grief and bereavement," Neil said.

"We went down to offer our support to them on behalf of Josh which is what he would have done to reassure them that we’re dealing with it which is all together as a community and a family including the military. The military has been a big part of his life.

"We are a strong and close family and friends. The military has been absolutely outstanding with their support to us. We are grateful for that."

Devon and Cornwall Police said despite the efforts of officers and ambulance staff, Joshua, the driver of a blue BMW, was pronounced dead at the scene of the single-vehicle crash on the A361 at Heanton Court, near Barnstaple and have appealed for witnesses and dashcam footage that could help with their investigation.