A TEENAGER is fighting for his life in hospital following a car smash on Haslingden Old Road, Oswaldtwistle, at the weekend.
Thomas Maylor, 17, of Whitecroft View, Baxenden, suffered serious head and chest injuries when the Seat Ibiza in which he was a front seat passenger veered off the road and crashed into a field during the early hours of Sunday.
He suffered swelling to the brain and is on a life support machine in the critical care unit at the Royal Preston Hospital.
His devastated parents, Stephen, who has recently undergone a hip replacement, and Marie, are keeping a bedside vigil, along with his grandparents.
Mr Maylor said: "Everyone has been supportive and rallied round but the family are in bits. We have been going up to the hospital every day.
"Thomas has swelling on the brain and he is sedated and on a life support machine. They are keeping him sedated and waiting for the swelling to go down."
Thomas, a former pupil of Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School, is studying physics, science and maths at A-level at St Mary's College, Blackburn.
Staff from both schools have praised Thomas as a hard-working and pleasant pupil.
Kevin McMahon, principal of St Mary's, said: "He is a lovely lad, popular with the staff and other students, and we are all very shocked.
"His family and Thomas himself are in everyone's thoughts and prayers."
Mrs Margaret Nutter, deputy head at Rhyddings, added: "He is a great student, hard-working and popular with both staff and students, quiet with a good sense of humour and one of those youngsters who you can just rely on to get on with things. We are very concerned about him."
Thomas has two sisters, Emily, 16, a Year 11 pupil at Rhyddings, currently studying for her GCSEs, and Ruby, nine.
He works part-time at the Wilkinson's store in Accrington.
The crash happened at 3.05am on Sunday on the B6236 Haslingden Old Road, just south of the junction with Cobbs Lane, Oswaldtwistle.
Thomas was with three of his friends from college in the car, which was travelling towards Blackburn when it failed to negotiate a left-hand bend and left the road, rolling onto its side and ploughing 50 metres into a field.
The driver was a 17-year-old, also from Baxenden, and the other two passengers were a 16-year-old from Burnley and a 19-year-old from Oswaldtwistle.
Witnesses are being urged to contact the Road Policing Unit at Accrington on 353764.