Family pay tribute to father-of-three, 51, who died in A1 fireball crash

A heartbroken family told of their grief today as they mourned a 51-year-old father-of-three who died in a crash that claimed three lives on the A1.

Paul Mullen, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, died in the collision between four cars and two lorries on Thursday evening in County Durham.

The crash at around 6.20pm on a northbound stretch of the carriageway close to the village of Bowburn, about 14 miles south of his hometown.

Paul Mullen, 51, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, died in the collision between four cars and two lorries on Thursday evening in County Durham

Paul Mullen, 51, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, died in the collision between four cars and two lorries on Thursday evening in County Durham

Paul Mullen, 51, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, died in the collision between four cars and two lorries on Thursday evening in County Durham

This is the shocking scene after a truck crossed the central reservation of the A1 on Thursday

This is the shocking scene after a truck crossed the central reservation of the A1 on Thursday

This is the shocking scene after a truck crossed the central reservation of the A1 on Thursday

Durham Police said today that Mr Mullen was driving a Toyota Hilux when he suffered fatal injuries in the incident. He leaves behind his partner and three children.

His family said in a statement released by police: ‘Our hearts are broken. Life will never be the same again. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.’

A man and a woman in a Vauxhall Crossland also died at the scene. One of the lorries caught fire as a result of the pile-up and several other people were injured.

The driver of one of the lorries, a 41-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been released on bail, police said.

Several cars were badly damaged while a section of the central reservation was destroyed

Several cars were badly damaged while a section of the central reservation was destroyed

Several cars were badly damaged while a section of the central reservation was destroyed

The crash at around 6.20pm on a northbound stretch of the carriageway close to the village of Bowburn in County Durham, about 14 miles south of his hometown

The crash at around 6.20pm on a northbound stretch of the carriageway close to the village of Bowburn in County Durham, about 14 miles south of his hometown

The crash at around 6.20pm on a northbound stretch of the carriageway close to the village of Bowburn in County Durham, about 14 miles south of his hometown

Speaking yesterday, Detective Superintendent Dave Ashton, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘This was a harrowing incident for everyone involved and our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have lost their loved ones.

‘It has been incredibly upsetting and distressing for those who witnessed the collision, and for the emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics, who attended the scene.’ 

He said the probe would be ‘extremely complex and lengthy’ because the crash site was ‘spread over some distance’ and many vehicles were ‘severely damaged’. 

Those who may have material relevant to the investigation into the crash, such as dashcam footage and photographs, can upload it via a police portal here

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