A GRIEVING bride-to-be has paid a touching tribute to her policeman fiancé who was killed in a horror smash while off duty.
Edinburgh-based avid biker PC Rhys Prentice died when his Yamaha R6 motorcycle and a silver Peugeot 107 collided on the A7 just north of Galashiels at 12.25pm on Sunday.
The 24-year-old, who was stationed in Musselburgh, East Lothian, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two occupants of the car were seriously injured.
Fiancée Connie Redpath posted on Facebook: “I can gather no words in my mind to let you know how much I love you. Ride safe up there baby.”
The couple had only announced they were engaged in January.
Friends took to social media to pay their condolences to the former Edinburgh Napier University student.
Thomas Ramage posted: “Thinking of you Connie- keep hold of your memories together.”
And Rebecca Jenny added: “So sorry for your loss Connie. Thoughts are with you and your family.”
The family of PC Prentice said they were “absolutely devastated” after he was killed in the Scottish Borders accident.
In a statement, his family said: “We are absolutely devastated at the loss of Rhys – our much loved son, brother, fiance and friend.
“Rhys was an enthusiastic biker and a dedicated police officer.
“He made us all very proud and words cannot describe how much we will miss him.”
Lothians and Scottish Borders Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Lesley Clark said: “It’s a sad day for the Lothians and Scottish Borders Division, with the loss of a young and enthusiastic officer.
“Rhys was stationed in East Lothian and will be sadly missed.
“He was a popular and devoted officer and support is being given to his colleagues.
“Rhys’ parents and fiancée were exceptionally proud of his chosen career and our thoughts remain with his family and friends at this tragic time.”
The two occupants of the car who were seriously injured were taken to the Borders General Hospital for treatment.
Sergeant Ross Drummond, from the road policing unit in Dalkeith, appealed for witnesses to come forward.
He said: “This incident has tragically resulted in the death of a young man and a colleague. Our inquiries continue to establish the full circumstances surrounding the collision and anyone who was on the road at the time and witnessed what happened is urged to contact police.”
Aunt Sonya Prentice said: “Saddest day of our lives. No words can say how we loved him so much, never be forgotten. Love you always Nana, Kenny, Auntie Sonya.”
Another aunt, Valerie Clack, posted: “My heart strings broken today, my sister Eileen Prentice and her husband Don lost their son in a motor bike accident.
“We are all devastated. He was a great lad and loved life to the full, he was just one of the gid yins RIP. Rhys Prentice handsome and loyal. True champ.”
Friends and colleagues also shared their shock and sadness at the news.
Callum Crawford wrote: “When you’re given news like today, the first reaction is obviously shock and it doesn’t feel as though it’s real because you don’t want to believe it.
“Spent the whole day in a daze and it’s only just sinking in now. One of the most amazing, frustrating people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.”