A devoted father and businessman has died in a road crash - leaving his heartbroken family in shock.
Lee Gibson had been travelling by motorbike with friends to The International Isle of Man TT Race meeting when he came off the machine on the A66 in Cumbria.
The 30-year-old suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene on Tuesday.
Mr Gibson’s partner, Elaine, has spoken of how she told the couple’s two-year-old son, Smith, that his father “is now an angel and he can look at him in the stars.”
The popular mechanic owned his own garage - LG MOT in Boldon - his family spoke of a “devoted” and “loving” dad to his son.
The family say Lee, of Ullswater Avenue, Jarrow, doted on his son.
Smith is too young to understand, but he knows his dad is now an angel and he can look at him in the stars.Elaine Rea
The family believe Lee’s BMW bike was caught by a freak gust of wind near Stainmore Cafe.
Elaine, 29, who met Lee in 2004, said: “When I fell pregnant with Smith, Lee was over the moon. He loved being a dad.
“When I got the call abut the accident, we went up to the hospital where he was.
“Smith is too young to understand, but he knows his dad is now an angel and he can look at him in the stars.
“Lee was so well known. People I didn’t even know he knew are sending cards.”
She added: “I can’t believe it has happened. I’m still waiting for him to walk through the door.”
The family say that Lee was interested in cars from an early age and, when he left Hedworthfield Comprehensive, went straight into an apprenticeship with Mick Abbott in Hebburn.
By 2005, he had his own garage at Unit 18 Bensham Street, Boldon.
A car he rebuilt caught the eye of Total Impreza magazine - which featured Lee’s work to give a Subaru Impreza a new lease of life.
His mam Pamela Farnham, 56, said Lee was “devoted” to his family, his brothers Mark and Gavin and his cousins.
She added: “He was always into everything which was sporty. He loved fast cars.
“We always knew he was going to work with cars. He done really well with the garage and everyone trusted him. He was an honest mechanic.
“The customers loved him, they were more like his friends.”
Lee also had a love of fishing and had recently taken over the role of looking after the fishing club based at the Lakeside in Jarrow and had plans to clean up the lakes to make it more inviting for others.
Elaine Rea, his partner’s mother, said: “He was the kind of lad who would do anything for his family. He’d do anything for anyone.”
Lee is survived by partner Elaine, son Smith, mam Pamela Farnham, stepdad Gordon Farnham, 59, dad Alan Gibson, 60, brothers Mark, 37 and Gavin, 34.