[T]HE family of a cyclist who tragically died following a collision last week have paid tribute to him, describing him as a ‘devoted husband, wonderful father, grandfather, brother and friend’.
Fred Heppell, from Lanchester, was cycling on the southbound side of the A177 at High Shincliffe when he was involved in a collision with a blue Tesla Model S 90D on the morning of Friday, November 10.
He was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where he sadly died later that afternoon.
Mr Heppell, a former bank manager, was an enthusiastic cyclist who recently celebrated his 80th birthday. However, his family said he had no intention of slowing down.
“He had a long and happy retirement, combining his love of cycling with his sense of adventure and travel,” they said.
“Fred averaged 10,000 miles per year on his bike and with his wife by his side had cycled across America, Australia, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and a host of European countries in his retirement years.
“He was a regular on the North East roads, popping out for an average 60 mile bike ride at least three times each week.
“Fred loved the sunshine and the great outdoors. When home from his travels he enjoyed being a perfectionist gardener, tending his allotment, growing his own fruit and vegetables while enjoying the ‘good life’.
“Fred was also a very sociable character, enjoying a real ale or red wine night out and annual walking holidays with the lads.
“He has left a huge void in the lives of so many but we all cherish the time we had with him and the many happy memories he has left with us.”
He leaves behind his widow, two sons and two grandchildren.
The collision happened at around 9.20am.
Durham Constabulary would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the collision.
Call 101 quoting incident number 90 of November 10.