TRIBUTES have been made to a “kind and loving” family man killed in a road accident.

Richard Birks, 68, from Arkengarthdale, in the Yorkshire Dales, died after his silver Daihatsu Terios collided with a Citroen van on Range Road, Catterick Garrison.

It happened at around 10am on Friday, December 29.

A statement from his family read: “Richard has left behind his wife, three sons, a stepdaughter and three grandchildren.

“An extremely kind and loving father. He was incredibly proud of his family and the family of him.

“Richard was an important part of the local community in Arkengarthdale where he lived, passionate about the area and wildlife.

“With a background in graphic design he had a love of art and music. A wonderful cook and a funny, gentle man.

“The family are devastated at the tragic loss of such an important part of our lives and so grateful to all the support received.

“Our thoughts are with the others who were involved in the accident and we’re grateful as always to the vital emergency services who responded.

“We are blown away by the kindness expressed by the community at his sudden passing.”

Mr Birks, from Arkengarthdale, was an employee of Tesco in Catterick Garrison.

On Facebook, Tesco Catterick Garrison community made tribute, calling him a “beloved colleague and friend. RIP Richard my thoughts are with your family at this very sad time.”

Friends also took to social media, where he was described as a “genuine, lovely man”, “always friendly and happy to have a chat”.

One comment read: “He was one of the most friendly and polite members of staff. He was always so helpful and very chatty. My condolences to his family. A big loss to you and a big loss to those who shop in Tesco.”

The 34-year-old van driver and a 12-year-old passenger were in shock but did not sustain any injuries.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident ahead of an inquest.