A MOTORBIKE fanatic who had a “heart of gold” and who friends considered the “life and soul of the party” has died in an horrific road crash.

The accident happened as Ajay De-Silva and four pals rode their bikes along Hall Lane, Chingford, which has a 20mph limit.

Mr De-Silva, who was on a Suzuki, tried to overtake an Audi TT shortly after 8pm on Thursday, August 28, but collided with the sports car and hit a lamppost.

Paramedics battled to save the 23-year-old but he suffered severe head injuries and he died on the pavement, with his shell-shocked mum, Sunita Hassan, and siblings around him.

Speaking from his home in Lemington Avenue, Walthamstow, his devastated dad Bryan De-Silva, 54, said all of his family, including his two brothers, three sisters, and girlfriend of four years, Eve Stratton, 22, were struggling to come to terms with their loss.

He told the Guardian: “He was kind-hearted, generous and an out-going, wonderful and funny son – everything that a father could wish for. Most of all, he had a heart of gold and a gentle nature.”

The former St Joseph’s School and Woodbridge School pupil lived in Leyton and Walthamstow before moving with his mum – who is separated from his father – and siblings to Primrose Road, South Woodford.

Mr De-Silva had been passionate about motorbikes since he was a teenager and would spend hours building bikes and riding them with his friends.

On the night of the accident, mum Sunita had been in bed as she was feeling unwell when her daughter Angelique, 27, got a telephone call from her distraught brother Vijay, who was at the scene, and she shouted: “Oh my god, mum, they are pumping his chest.”

They rushed to Hall Lane, near the junction with Waltham Way, where emergency crews were trying to save Mr De-Silva’s life.

His mum, a trained nurse, said: “He broke his neck. He had a pulse but then it went, but they did everything they could.

“It is comforting to know a qualified nurse whom I actually used to work with tried to help him.

“I would really like to say a big thank you to Janet who works at Whipps Cross and who comforted my son.”

Mrs Hassan said it was some time before she was able to hold her son’s body because she was not allowed to travel with him in the ambulance to North Middlesex Hospital.

Then, to add to her heartache, they were turned away from North Middlesex and had to journey to Whipps Cross Hospital for an available room.

She said: “We waited for one hour to get a room then had to drive him all the way back to Whipps Cross Hospital. I still hadn’t seen him.

“I thought, ‘that is my son and you should make a room. You can’t have him going backwards and forwards’. That hurt me the most because I wanted to feel the warmth on him, but by the time I saw him he was cold.”

His family said Mr De-Silva was “generous and kind”, and recently paid for his younger sister to have her nails painted for her school prom.

He also had a close trio of friendship with his older brother Vijay, 24, and friend Kieron, 23.

Kieron said: “He was a very popular guy and will be really missed. He was a joker and the life and soul of the party. He loved motorbikes, so he died doing what he loved.”

His brother Vijay agreed, saying: “He loved riding and bought his first bike when he was 16. Everybody who rides with us, half of the bikes have been built by Ajay.”

The three of them were set to open a games and internet cafe called The Spot, in George Lane, South Woodford for young people, “to bring them together”.

Vijay added: “You get to the stage in life when you want to do something positive. He was very excited about it.”

The police investigation into the incident is ongoing.

NO-ONE has been arrested in connection with the accident, but police have appealed for witnesses and information.

The four motorcyclists riding with Mr De-Silva fled the scene before officers arrived. The male driver of the Audi stopped.

Det Sgt Abi Lambkin, of Chadwell Heath’s collision investigation unit, said: “We are appealing for anyone who was in the area who may have witnessed the incident or has information to contact police in confidence.”

Anyone with information should call 8597 4874 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.