Seaham dad's death 'a tragic loss'

A father-of-four has been killed after his motorbike collided with a car as he travelled with friends to the Highlands.

Peter Dent and six fellow bikers were heading to Wick in Scotland when his BMW K1200 was hit by a Mercedes near Ullapool.

The 50-year-old, from Seaham, died instantly in Saturday's accident and police have charged a 64-year-old man with causing death by dangerous driving.

Since the tragedy, which happened just days before he was to celebrate his first grandchild's birthday, his family have been inundated with cards and flowers at their home in Corneila Terrace.

They today paid tribute to the former pitman, who worked in the IT department of NHS Connecting for Health at Boldon Business Park.

Susan, his wife of 31 years, said: "He was always busy doing something and he was never bored. And for a man of action, he was quite laid back. It's a tragic loss and he will be missed by all his friends and family."

Peter's interest in bikes was sparked as a teenager.

His passion for photographs and his home town's history led him to set up, a website which carries new and old images of the town and chronicles regeneration projects, with his own photographs of the area on the walls of the Crow's Nest pub on East Shore Village, Seaham.

Peter had also spent time as a governor of Seaham School of Technology while his children were pupils, and he also completed three years with the Territorial Army's Royal Logistics from 1991.

After leaving Parkside Infant and Juniors and Camden Square Secondary Modern, he joined the Navy, putting in a year's service before taking up a job as a power loader at Dawdon Colliery.

During his 14 years at the pit, he became interested in IT and trained as a computer programmer, while also working as a part-time firefighter in Seaham.

After spending a year working with computers in Bristol, he returned home and took up a role with NHS Connecting for Health, who went on to become his employer for 20 years. Susan has also worked in the same office for the last decade.

The pair met in Seaham as teenagers and married in St Hild and St Helen's in Dawdon in 1978, going on to have children Alexander, 27, who works in IT, Michael, 25, who is in the Army serving with the Royal Engineers, Harmony, 21, and Jasmine, 19, who both work as customer service advisors with npower in Peterlee.

His granddaughter Kacey Buck, Harmony's daughter, will reach her first birthday tomorrow.

He also leaves mother Elsie, 78, and sister Eileen Flatz, 55, who now lives in Queensland, Australia, and brother Raymond, 45.

The Northern Constabulary has submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal, responsible for prosecuting in sudden or suspicious deaths. A man charged in connection with the accident appeared before Tain Sheriff's Court on Monday.