Heartfelt tributes have been paid to rising star Joanna Reyes, 36, who was killed in a car accident in Tower Hamlets.

Joanna was returning home from rehearsals in Shoreditch for a major musical when she was struck and killed by a Range Rover on a traffic island near the Troxy nightclub, Limehouse, on Thursday night (November 17). She had been rehearsing her lead role in the comedy Urinetown at City Academy after another performer dropped out.

She never had the chance to tell her East End parents about her big break.

Joanna Reyes loved her life on the stage

Nicolas and Adelina Reyes, from East Ham, told the Evening Standard : “It’s only when this happened that we found out how popular she was. We didn’t have any clue that she was so well known.

“She didn’t boast to us like, ‘One day you’re going to see me perform in the West End.’

“Sometimes I used to say ‘darling, don’t you want a nine-to-five job?’ but she’d say ‘dad, I love what I’m doing’.”

Friend Dean Lee said: “It’s tragic because things were starting to happen for her. She was totally unique and had the personality to make it in this tough business.”

In a Facebook post, Philippa Lucy Sorcha James wrote: “Words fail me trying to comprehend the loss of my wonderful friend Joanna Reyes.

“I feel blessed to have shared so many moments of joy and laughter with this talented young woman over the last year. Her beautiful spirit and vibrant personality have left an imprint on my heart that will never leave.”

A 44-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been bailed until March.