SALON staff have raised thousands of pounds in memory of their former boss and his wife who died in a horror motorway accident.

Stylists from Hair Haus, in Bishop Auckland, handed over £12,430 to the Great North Air Ambulance Service after a series of fundraising activities following the death of the salon's owner Mark Mchale and his wife Tamsie last July.

The couple died at the scene following a collision between their white Audi A5 and a HGV on the M62. 

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Fundraising began in August and Hair Haus manager, Kendra Hughes, said the highlight was a charity drop-off where groups of staff were driven to various places 25 miles from the salon and challenged to make their own way back to Bishop Auckland town centre.

Other activities have included a collection in the salon and a giant raffle with prizes donated by dozens of businesses in the town.

Kendra said Mark, a fellow stylist who was 46 when he died, and his 43-year-old teacher wife, were sadly missed by all at the salon.

“We are a really close team,” she said. “A lot of us have been here since the salon opened in 2001 and some of the younger ones did their training here.

“I was Mark's manager and had been working closely with him for so long that I took over to keep the salon running when they died.”

Kendra continues to manage the salon on behalf of Mark's family.

“They were a lovely couple – they were made for each other. Everyone still thinks about them and misses them.

“I was putting a note up on Facebook to say how much had been raised and to thank everyone and had a little cry then.”

Kendra said staff at the salon had always been involved in raising money for good causes.

“We have always supported the Great North Air Ambulance Service. It's a local charity and they depend on donations so they can carry on," she said.

“Had Mark and Tamsie's accident happened just seconds later, it would have been the air ambulance that would have saved their lives.”