Heartfelt tributes have been paid to an "archetypal unsung hero" who died when helping others in Hartlepool last night.
Martin Dixon, 56, was collecting blood from the University Hospital of Hartlepool to take to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a car on Easington Road, Hartlepool.
The dad-of-two, a volunteer and committee member for blood bike charity Bloodrun Emergency Voluntary Service (EVS), suffered serious injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The collision happened at about 7.05pm.
Mr Dixon, from the Billingham area, had been with the charity for about five years, and its chairman, Richie Wolstenholme, has paid tribute to him.
He said: "Martin was one of the central figures in our charity and had been for a long time.
"He was the archetypal unsung hero, and will be sorely missed.
"He was a very positive man, and always had a smile on his face.
"He will be missed for his enthusiasm and professionalism, as well as his never-ending good humour and bad jokes."
Mr Wolstenholme added: "Martin was such a big personality, and a big part of our charity.
"He was universally very popular, and he would do far more than anyone else to contribute.
"He was one of those people who deserved recognition for what he did quietly behind the scenes for all those years.
"Martin's contribution to his local community doing what he did for our charity was huge.
"He was one of those quiet blokes who just got on and did a lot. He was a proper 'can-do' man.
"He constantly put himself out for other people and for his community. He was a man with a huge heart and huge courage, a fantastic fella."
Martin's son, also called Martin, is also a committee member and volunteer rider for Bloodrun.
Mr Wolstenholme said: "Needless to say, all the people in our charity are utterly devastated.
"That this should happen to Martin is a real shock.
"He was one of the most disciplined and considered motorcyclists I have ever met, both professionally and personally.
"Martin loved motorcycling and would ride the bikes as often as he possibly could. He would sometimes ride 10 or 12 times a month.
"He will leave such a massive hole in the charity, and we send our condolences to his wife Tina, son Martin and the rest of the family."
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: "The collision also involved a black Citroen C3. The driver of this vehicle was uninjured.
"Mr Dixon leaves behind a wife and two children. The family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time.
"Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact PC Anthony Harrison from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on the non-emergency number 101, quoting event number 216884."