The widow of a man who had just become a grandfather for the first time has paid tribute to her “fun-loving” husband after he died in a horror crash.
Fifty-year-old Tony Stokoe, from Wheatley Hill, died at the scene after a black BMW 320 collided with his silver Seat Ibiza in Salter’s Lane, Shotton Colliery, just before noon on Saturday.
The impact of the collision demolished a bus stop by the side of the street.
Tony’s wife Marie, 48, said the father-of-three lived for his family and worked hard to provide for them.
In a statement released by Durham Constabulary, she added: “Tony was a loving husband, dad to Danielle, 25, Abbie, 17, and Adam, 23, grandad to seven-week- old Gracie-Mae, uncle, brother and son.
“Tony lived life to the full and as a keen biker he loved riding his motorcycles to favourite spots in Whitby and Scarborough, as well as listening to rock music while working on his bikes and cars in his garage.
We had recently become grandparents for the first time and Tony loved spending time with Gracie-Mae and was excited about what the future might hold for her.Marie Stokoe
“He was full of fun and a real practical joker who always had the last laugh.
“We had recently become grandparents for the first time and Tony loved spending time with Gracie-Mae and was excited about what the future might hold for her.”
Ryan Gilling, 26, of Hutton Henry, appeared before Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with causing death by dangerous driving.
He was remanded in custody to appear before Durham Crown Court on December 5.
Two other men, aged 33 and 28 and both from Shotton Colliery, who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender have been bailed by Durham Constabulary pending further inquiries.
An inquest into Tony’s death is due to be opened at the Coroner’s Court in Crook tomorrow.
Anyone who saw the crash is asked to call Durham Constabulary’s collision investigation unit on (0191) 375 2159, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.