THE family of a man who died in a motorcycle crash alongside his friend have spoken of their loss following the tragedy.
Alexander Mackenzie, 21, of Newlands Road, Northlea, Seaham, and Angela Bate, also 21, from Wycliffe Road in Westlea, also Seaham, were killed when the Yamaha off-road bike they were on collided with a truck on the A19.
In a family statement, Alexander’s mother, Lindsay Mackenzie, said: “Alex’s death has hit us extremely hard as we are a very close family.
“Alex leaves two younger brothers, Andrew and Dominic, to whom he was very close and they are going to miss their big brother dreadfully. Alex was a very much-loved son, brother and friend, who we will all remember as a popular and pleasant lad with his whole life ahead of him.
“We are devastated by our loss and would ask that we be left in peace to come to terms with the tragic loss of our loved one.”
Tributes have continued to be left on the Facebook pages belonging to the pair, who were friends and both went to Seaham School of Technology.
Paul Dixon wrote on Angelas’s page: “RIP Angela Bate. You’ll be sadly missed.”
Comments have also been posted on Seaham’s Facebook page.
Kimberley Glaister wrote: “Heartbreaking. Thoughts are with their families RIP.”
Elizabeth Ann Smith posted: “Our thoughts go out to the families. God bless.”
Police are continuing to appeal for anyone with information about the crash, which happened at 2.50am on Saturday on the northbound carriageway of the A19 near Hawthorn services, particularly anyone who saw the vehicles before the smash.
The driver of the Iveco LGV, a 51-year-old man from Pontefract in West Yorkshire, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed pending further inquiries.