Families speak of 'Incredibly kind-hearted' couple killed in A1(M) collision

The loved ones of a couple who died after they were involved in a horror crash on the A1(M) which also claimed the life of a dad-of-three have paid tribute to them.

Elaine Sullivan, 59, and David Daglish, 57, from Seaham, sadly suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene of the incident, which happened on the northbound carriageway near Bowburn, on Thursday, July 15.

In a joint statement, the couple’s families said: “Our world has been shattered into a million pieces.

“Elaine and Dave were incredibly kind-hearted, loving and supportive parents, grandparents, family members and friends.

David Daglish, 57, and Elaine Sullivan, 59, from Seaham, died in the crash on the A1(M) near Bowburn on Thursday, July 15.

“Their premature departure has left behind an irreparable hole in both our families and the local community; their kind and devoted selves will never be forgotten.”

East Durham Trust has also paid tribute to the couple, as David was a volunteer with the organisation for many years, first as a men’s group champion with its CREE project to reduce social isolation among men, then its food poverty intervention service FEED.

A spokesperson said: “During the pandemic Dave has worked tirelessly delivering food parcels to the door of hundreds of people across East Durham.

"He did this selflessly with a huge smile on his face.

Paul Mullen, 51, from Washington, died in the collision, leaving three children and his partner.

"A big man with an even bigger heart.

“We know that his partner Elaine was equally committed to supporting her community, volunteering regularly at Eastlea Community Centre.

"We will miss them deeply and remember them fondly as kind and generous supporters of their community.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Dave and Elaine.”

The A1(M) was closed until Saturday, July 17, to allow for investigations to be carried out by Durham Constabulary.

The collision involved four cars, including the Vauxhall Crossland carrying the couple, and two lorries, with one of the HGVs catching fire in the aftermath of the crash.

Durham Constabulary has said all families are being supported by specially trained officers.

A 41-year-old man – the driver of one of the lorries – was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

He has been released on bail as inquiries continue.

In addition to Durham officers, which has brought together its road policing unit with detectives, forensic specialists and other staff, the incident also called on the support of those from Northumbria and Cleveland.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended the collision site alongside the North East Ambulance Service and the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Police also thanked the Army and Highways England for their assistance.

An online portal has been set up by police to allow people to submit information in relation to the incident, as well as dashcam footage and photographs.

To submit material, please visit https://mipp.police.uk and click on the Durham Constabulary tile.

The force has asked people to note there is an upload limit of 700mb on multimedia files.

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