TOUCHING tributes have been paid to a taxi driver who tragically died when his car hit a tree.
Dad-of-three Paul Crangle, 55, has been described as a “kind and generous man” by his children after he was killed on the A689 on Thursday night.
His boss at Hudsons Taxis, the Hartlepool firm where he worked for almost 20 years, said the town cabbie was “a big man with a big heart”.
Police found Paul’s taxi at 2am on Friday morning after it had crashed into a tree off the westbound carriageway of the A689, east of Newton Bewley on the outskirts of Hartlepool.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was dad to Lorraine, Alison and Lisa and was also a much-loved granddad.
In a statement released through Cleveland Police, his daughters said: “We are deeply upset by the tragic accident that happened to our dad Paul Crangle. Paul was a kind and generous man.
“Paul was a great dad who always wanted to be right. The thing about dad is he always was.
“Dad loved his grandchildren and spending time with them, even though he didn’t like being called a granddad, he thought he was too young.
“Dad had a great sense of humour and liked a good laugh. He was a hard grafter, but also liked a drink with his mates. Even though once he’d had a drink he could be a real headache.
“All we want at this time is to be left alone so as a family we can come to terms with our loss.”
Gill Clarke, owner of Hudsons Taxis, which is based in Whitby Street South, told the Mail that the firm is doing a collection for Paul and will be buying a funeral wreath in the red and white of Paul’s football club, Sunderland AFC. They will also offer their cars for the funeral.
Mrs Clarke said: “Paul was a big man with a big heart.
“He was a very loyal employee and friend and will be sorely missed by everyone here. We are all totally devastated.
“He was such a hard worker and was always the last one standing, he was a rock.
“This company has gone through a lot over the last couple of years, but Paul was always there and you could always depend on him.”
Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash and any witnesses are asked to ring Cleveland Police on (01642) 326326 and quote reference number U192499.