Tributes have been paid to a much-loved dad who tragically lost his life in a horrific crash just days before Christmas.
Paul Price has been described as a dedicated father who ‘loved life’ and would do anything for anyone.
The 39-year-old motorcyclist, of Seaham, died in hospital after he was involved in a serious collision in Colliery Walk, in Murton, on Sunday, December 16.
And the day after the family said a final farewell to Paul their beloved pet, 11-year-old Stitch, died.
His lifelong partner Hayley Henery has spoken of the heartbreaking moment police told her the news that Paul wouldn’t be coming home.
Hayley said: “He was going out on his motorbike for half an hour and then we were going to go Christmas shopping.
“When I said I was getting ready he said he’d take his bike out for a little bit, but he never came home.
“A few hours later, police officers knocked on the door and told me.”
The dad of one dedicated his life to Hayley and his 14-year-old son Bailey, who has autism.
Hayley added: “He was a Jack the lad, he was always very happy – nothing got him down.
“His son was his life, he was all for his family.
“I know a lot of people say it, but he really was the best dad. Bailey was his world.”
The couple, who had been together for 19 years, were friends for a long time before their relationship blossomed – having both grown up in Peterlee.
“We were friends for a lot of years before we got together,” said the 35-year-old mum.
“We got together through friends.
“He was working down in London at the time and he came home for the weekend.
“He loved life, he was very happy-go-lucky and he would help anybody.
“Someone would knock on our door and say ‘my car’s not starting’ and he’d be straight out there to help.”
The grieving family are still coming to terms with the sudden and tragic loss.
And instead of spending Christmas together, Hayley was having to plan a funeral.
The customer service advisor said: “It was horrific, we didn’t have a Christmas. The stuff that he bought the night before is still in the boot of the car.
“The day after Paul’s funeral our dog, Stitch, died as well.
“Bailey was brokenhearted over Paul.
“He lost the dog he had grown up with and his dad.”
Now the family have recalled fond stories of the caring and fun-loving father.
“When we first moved to Seaham he was always out with helping our neighbours,” said Hayley.
“There was a young lad who was really interested in motorbikes so he’d always help them out fixing bikes.
“Paul also loved carp fishing and would go on trips to Yorkshire during the summer to go fishing when he could.”
Following the tragedy, Hayley’s friend Ashleigh Chipp set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay towards funeral costs and support the family financially during this difficult time.
She said: “I know what she earns and I know what she earns when she’s off, and Paul was the main breadwinner and it’s really hard this time of year.
“I set up a fundraiser to try get to her some support to help her through this.”
To donate to the page, visit www.gofundme.com/funeral-and-memorial-of-paul-price.