The family of a Newton Aycliffe man who died in a road accident at the weekend have paid tribute to their “gentle giant”.
Shane Smith, 25, of Stainforth Close in the town, died after his blue Audi A4 left the road and crashed at Close House in Bishop Auckland, just before 8.50pm last Saturday (10th January).
His family have issued a statement, saying: “We are all devastated by the loss of our Shane.
“He was a gentle giant with a heart of gold. As a family our lives will never be the same as we will always have this awful emptiness. He should be here cracking jokes as he always did.
“If there are any witnesses to this accident please contact the police. We need to know why it occurred and why our beautiful, happy, smiling Shane has been taken too young.
“RIP Shane, we love you to pieces and words cannot describe how much we will miss you.”
The car had been travelling north on Eldon Bank and as it went over the Eldon crossroads and onto Close House it crossed to the offside of the carriageway and collided with a fence before coming to rest in a field.
Mr Smith suffered serious head injuries and was confirmed dead at the scene. The road was closed to traffic for around three hours while collision unit investigators carried out an examination of the scene.
Anyone who saw the vehicle on the road at any point before the collision is asked to contact the Cleveland and Durham specialist operations unit on 101.