COLLEGE staff who were left devastated by the death of a popular teacher are working together to make sure a project he organised and felt passionately about is a success.
Students, staff and governors at Hartlepool Sixth Form College were “shocked and deeply saddened” by the death of geography and travel and tourism teacher James Gibson.
The 28-year-old died after being hit by a blue Jaguar in Grange Road, Hartlepool, six days before Christmas.
The college now plans to celebrate Mr Gibson’s life in a ceremony on Friday, February 15, and staff are honouring his memory by working together to raise funds for 25 students to go to Ghana next summer.
Mr Gibson, from Jarrow, was organising the trip for the students to take part in charitable work in Africa before his sudden death.
Rick Wells, principal and chief executive of the college, in Blakelock Road, said: “James was always trying to help other people, whether that meant working with our students, assisting his colleagues or contributing to charity.
“We are determined to make this trip a success in his name.
“We hope to establish a permanent link with the schools he was planning to visit with our students and they need to raise £1,500 each in order to support their trip.”
The college plans to present a plaque to the college’s partner schools in Ghana to highlight Mr Gibson’s contribution to the communities in Africa.
Mr Wells added: “James was a well-respected and popular teacher of geography and travel and tourism at the college and he is greatly missed.
“The sense of loss in the college these past few weeks has been palpable, but we have grown stronger and closer in our shared loss.”
Police are still appealing for a man to come forward who may have vital information to assist in the investigation.
Investigators said witnesses at the scene of the crash, which happened at around 5.35pm on December 19 last year, have said that a man spoke to the driver after the collision but the police haven’t yet identified him.
Police also appealed for any other witnesses or anyone in the street immediately afterwards who haven’t yet spoke to officers to come forward.
The driver of the Jaguar, a 58-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and is on bail.
l Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt Harry Simpson on the non-emergency 101 number, quoting reference number 226563.