Tees

Fence crash death victim Shane Smith tribute

Shane Smith Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Crash victim Shane Smith's family said they have been left feeling an "awful emptiness"

The family of a driver who died when his car ploughed into a fence have described him as having a "heart of gold".

Shane Smith of Newton Aycliffe, was killed when his car left Close House Road near Bishop Auckland on Saturday.

The 25-year-old's family have paid tribute to a "gentle giant" who was always "cracking jokes".

Durham Police said it was trying to piece together why the car left the road and appealed for witnesses.

A spokesman said another man, 25, who was also in the car was uninjured.

Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption The car had been travelling north on Eldon Bank

The family statement said: "We are all devastated by the loss of our Shane. He was a gentle giant with a heart of gold.

"As a family our lives will never be the same as we will always have this awful emptiness. He should be here cracking jokes as he always did.

"We need to know why the crash occurred and why our beautiful, happy, smiling Shane has been taken too young."

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