Tributes have been paid to a “really popular and genuine guy” who was killed when his car hit a wall and a lamp-post in Bingley.

The 34-year-old, named locally as Karl Howes, of Bingley, was at the wheel of a black BMW when it left the road at about 1.40am on Saturday.

Police said he was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened on Bradford Road, near one of the entrances to Beckfoot School.

A police spokesman said the BMW had been involved in a collision with three parked cars in Bingley town centre a short time before and had failed to stop at the scene.

Last night, friends spoke of their shock and paid tribute to Mr Howes.

A friend laying flowers at the scene of the accident said Mr Howes was a “great bloke who will really be missed.

“Karl really loved sport and especially supported Liverpool and cricket.

“He had a good job, was only 34 and was a really popular guy who will be missed by loads of people,” said the friend who asked not to named.

Callum Clarke, from Derbyshire, was another close friend of Mr Howes.

Mr Clarke said: “I knew Karl through the footballer Steven Caldwell who now plays for Toronto.

“But when he (Steve Caldwell) was playing for Birmingham, I went over to Brugge with him to watch Steve play them in the Europa League.

“Karl was a genuine guy who would do anything to help you. I thought I’d lost my wallet over there and the first thing he said was ‘never mind, what I have in my wallet is yours too.’ “That’s the kind of guy he was. He enjoyed life and also loved his cats to bits.

“He supported Liverpool but just liked watching football in general. He was an outgoing lad who would talk to anyone.

“Karl will be sadly missed and it won’t be the same going to watch Steve without him. We went a lot together and enjoyed a beer over talking about the game.

“RIP Karlo, see you again for a beer up there. I’ll miss you.”

A woman who witnessed the aftermath of the crash said the car ended up in the middle of the road.

Police said that he was the only person in the car, which was heading towards Cottingley at the time of the crash.

The impact – which was about 50 yards from Southlands Avenue – sent stones from the wall tumbling into the school grounds and left a lamp-post leaning on a tree. Smashed lights were left close to the tree, which had had part of its bark ripped off by the collision.

It is thought that Mr Howes went to Bradford Grammar School and then studied at Sunderland University before going on to work for Hallmark Cards as a national executive and also at Bradford bakers Speedibake.

Some residents living close to the scene heard a bang and saw the aftermath. Some also commented that it was a fast stretch of road.

One neighbour said: “I heard a bang and looked out and the car had gone back into the middle of the road, near the bollards.

“It looked like a person was looking under the car, so at first I thought someone had been run over. Then another car turned up and then the police turned up.”

One woman said: “My daughter heard a bang. She said she could hear it coming – she heard cars going fast.”

The woman’s husband added: “It is a fast road. It is supposed to be 40mph and it is outside a school.”

Another resident said: “I woke up, had a look outside and saw lots of ambulances. Police had closed the road – there was a lot of activity.”

Anyone who witnessed the crash, or the earlier collision involving the vehicle, is asked contact the police’s Major Collision Enquiry Team on 101.