TRIBUTES have been paid to a 12-year-old schoolboy who died in a car crash on the Erskine Bridge.
Martin Zelenka, from Ledi Drive, Bearsden, was with his mother Merrilyn (41) travelling north when she apparently lost control of her Citroen C3 near the Clydebank and Duntocher slip road at noon on Sunday.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident and it is understood the car flipped onto its roof.
Merrilyn was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley with minor injuries and released the following day. Her son was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police closed the bridge for six hours following the tragedy.
A neighbour said Martin, Merrilyn and husband Tomas were a very quiet family and kept themselves to themselves.
He added: “I used to see the wee boy playing by himself in his garden. They are a lovely family and very quiet. This is very, very sad.”
A facebook page was set up this week in tribute and as the Herald went to press, it had hundreds of followers.
Hector Shaw posted: “Wish I had known you better” and Kourtney Gibson added: “Martin will be missed a lot.”
The popular first year Bearsden Academy pupil was also remembered in a special S1 assembly by his fellow class-mates on Monday.
Parents of youngsters in his class at Bearsden Primary were also contacted and told that in his time at the school he had represented the primary in athletic events, was active in the orchestra and choir and was a class monitor for his year.
George Cooper, headteacher at the Academy, said: “We were shocked and saddened to hear of Martin’s tragic death.
“We held a special assembly for S1 pupils to confirm the sad news and to offer them any help and support they felt they needed. Naturally many of them are upset so we have experienced guidance staff on hand to talk to them and help them cope with their grief.
“Martin had been at Bearsden Academy since August but he was already a successful, popular boy with many friends and a very promising future. We are all touched by this loss. He will certainly be missed.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”
Echoing these words, Martin’s former headteacher at Bearsden Primary, Marianne Young, added: “Martin was a pupil here for seven years and news of his tragic death has devastated us all. We are struggling to come to terms with it. ”Martin was a clever boy who was also a good athlete and a talented musician. He represented Bearsden Primary School in running events and in our choir and orchestra. ”He was a kind and caring boy who was popular with pupils and staff alike. Martin was excited to be moving onto secondary school and everyone who knew him felt sure he would continue to do well. “I cannot imagine the grief his family is facing but they should know that everyone at Bearsden Primary has them in their hearts at this dreadfully sad time.”
A police spokesperson said: “Police inquiries are ongoing into the cause of the crash and any witnesses are asked to contact the Road Policing Department at Helen Street, Glasgow, on 0141 532 6400.”