Heartbreaking tributes have been paid to a loving grandad who died following a road crash.

The collision, involving a car and a motorbike, took place at about 8.55pm on Friday on the A1 northbound around 300 metres from the A69 slip road at Denton Burn.

Police say that, for reasons yet to be established, a grey Audi A3 collided with a motorcycle which resulted in the rider being knocked off his bike.

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Emergency services attended but the rider of the motorbike, John Wood, 62, of Blyth, died at the scene.

John’s family have now paid tribute to the motorbike enthusiast and say he will forever be remembered for the “wonderful” person he was.

They said: “John’s passion in life has always been cars, bikes and travelling. John had just completed a 15-day motorbike holiday in which he had covered thousands of miles visiting some of his favourite locations in France and Spain.

“He was returning home to the North East from his latest adventure when he was involved in the fatal incident.

“John was a hugely proud and dedicated family man who leaves behind a wife of 39 years, two children and six grandchildren who he could not have loved any more than he already did.

“This was a very sudden and unexpected death that has shocked our family and friends.

“We now ask that people remember John for the wonderful person he was and be respectful of the circumstances surrounding his tragic death. Please also take extra care and look out for motorcyclists when driving on the roads."

An investigation was launched after the incident and a search launched to locate the Audi, whose occupants had already left the scene when emergency services arrived.

Two people – a 36-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman - have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. They have since been released under investigation.

Officers are now appealing for anybody who was in the area and believes they saw a grey Audi A3 in the hours preceding and after the collision to come forward.

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Sgt Dave Roberts, of Northumbria Police’s motor patrols team, said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts go out to John’s family and friends at this awful time.

“We are committed to getting answers for his family and finding out the circumstances surrounding this collision, which has resulted in the most devastating of consequences.

“Today, I am asking for the public’s help. Were you driving on the A1 around that time, and do you have dashcam footage? If so, please take a look and let me know if you see a grey Audi A3 that is acting suspiciously.

“I would like to thank everyone who has already come forward with information to assist our investigation, especially witnesses at the scene who provided statements. It is hugely appreciated.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting NP-20210924-1085.

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