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Keen motorcyclist who died in crash with bus is named by police
11:24am Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
A KEEN motorcyclist who died after hitting a patch of ice and colliding with an oncoming bus has been named by police.
Melvin Bandtock, known to family and friends as Mel, died on Saturday morning (December 28) on the B6313 Craghead Lane at Craghead, near Stanley, County Durham.
The 55-year-old was trapped beneath the bus and declared dead at the scene by ambulance personnel.
Mr Bandtock, who was a lifelong motorcyclist and well known in the local motorcycling community, lived in Annfield Plain, but originally came from Dipton.
The former steelworker was employed as a fabricator with Conmech Engineers, based at Harelaw.
His family today released a statement through Durham Police which said: "Mel was a keen motorcyclist since the age of 17. He enjoyed stripping down and rebuilding motorcycles and has a collection of classic motorcycles.
"He was well known in the motorcycle community and was a member of North Durham Motorcycle Club.
"He will be sadly missed by his brother Stephen and sisters Janice and Lynne."
Police are continuing to investigate the crash, which happened shortly before 9.20am.
A spokesman for Durham Police said: "A motorcycle appears to have hit a section of ice on the road and has collided in the path of an oncoming single decker bus."
The bus driver, who comes from the Washington area, was treated for shock and the road was closed for some time.
Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call the Durham Roads Policing Office on the police non-emergency number, 101.
The incident was one of a series on Saturday when icy conditions proved a problem on several County Durham roads.
Two women were taken to hospital - one of them by the Great North Air Ambulance - after a car left the road and hit a tree at 9.42am on the A692 at Dipton, near Consett.
Fire crews from stations at Consett and Durham had to cut free two women trapped in the wreckage.
One suffered leg injuries and the other shoulder injuries. Both were taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.
A third woman managed to get out of the car before firemen arrived and was unhurt.
Firefighters had to cut the roof off a van to free a man after it left the road and crashed into bushes near the entrance of Tanfield Lea Industrial Estate, at 7.18am on the same morning, again believed to have been caused by black ice.
The 47-year-old driver suffered neck and spinal injuries and was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham in Durham City by ambulance.
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