Rachael Veale, who was a fourth year medical student at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, was travelling with four other students when the vehicle she was in careered off the A38 and into a ditch before hitting a tree.
The 21-year-old was a keen sportswoman, playing netball, tennis and swimming competitively for Lewes Swimming Club, before joining the medical school.
She was an active community volunteer, gaining a Millennium Volunteer's Award and a Community Sports Leadership Award for her work in teaching young children to swim.
She continued to carry out voluntary work while at the Peninsula Medical School.
Seaford town and district councillor Jon Freeman is a friend of Rachael's family and his daughter grew up with her. He said, "I think she's always been a peacemaker, an all-rounder and good at most sports.
"She grew into a young woman ready to use her communication skills and train to be a doctor to benefit others.
"She was well liked with many friends in the town. It's a tragedy for her close-knit family and for many people in Seaford who knew and loved her."
His daughter Megan added, "To sum up Rachael's love and enthusiasm for the people she surrounded herself with and things she participated in and life itself up in words, would do an injustice to her memory.
"She deserves only to be remembered for her smile and laugh,
which was both infectious and forever lasting in my memory."
In addition to her interest in sport, Rachael had a keen interest in the arts. She was a member of the Seaford Youth Drama Group for seven years and also took part in the Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival, winning awards for dialogue and group performance.
Professor Sir John Tooke, Dean of the Peninsula Medical School, who said the school's best wishes go to the students in hospital for a speedy and complete recovery, added, "Rachael was a very special student and her death has affected everyone at the Medical School.
"Members of staff have been moved by the way in which our students have come together at this very sad time, to offer each other support and to register their grief.
"Our heartfelt condolences go to Rachael's family and friends. We will continue to offer support to all concerned for as long as they wish it."
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Exeter , United Kingdom