Live updates

Diver who found Wear body having nightmares after discovery

Trevor Bankhead, who found the body believed to be Euan Coulthard, says he does not know if he will be able to dive into the river again, at least for a while.

Mr Bankhead has been having nightmares since he made the discovery. He said he had to go and try to find Euan as a father of four girls. He says he understood what the Coulthard family must be going through.

A19 crash shuts down road for hours

Police have thanked motorists for their patience after officers had to close part of the A19 northbound for several hours this morning.

There was a collision just after 3am, involving a white Volvo heavy goods vehicle and a white Mercedes Sprinter van.

The scene on the A19

It happened just after the A689 turnoff, almost parallel to the Clipper Tea Factory on Wynyard Business Park. Both drivers were taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of North Tees to be seen for what are currently believed to be minor injuries.

The A19 north was fully closed for a stretch just before the A689, with traffic being diverted and the road was reopened at 9.30am.

Damaged caused in the collision

“I appreciate drivers were, in many cases, waiting in queues or hardly moving for some time but I’d like to remind them that using your mobile phone at the wheel is still illegal.

“This comes as a timely reminder that the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit is currently running an operation targeting motorists using their mobile phones while behind the wheel.

“Remember if you are caught using your mobile you will get a £100 fine and have 3 points put on your licence. If it goes to court you could even be banned from driving and fined £1000.”

– Sgt Harry Simpson

Anyone who witnessed the collision and who has not yet spoken to police is asked to contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101.

Advertisement

Diver said "I've come to take you home, my friend"

A professional diver travelled over 170 miles to find the body of missing Durham University student Euan Coulthard, after police said it was too dangerous to enter the river.

Trevor Bankhead said he discovered a body within seconds of entering the River Wear just yards from where the 19-year-old law student was last seen on Framwellgate Bridge.

Euan Coulthard

The body has not yet been formally identified, but the diver said he knew it was Euan immediately. The diver said that while underwater he said "I've come to take you home, my friend."

Trevor Bankhead said he discovered a body within seconds of entering the River Wear

Mr Bankhead works as a commercial shellfish diver and travelled from the Western Isles in Scotland to Durham to look for the missing student to bring closure to Euan's family, after speaking to his brother Gary, a firefighter involved in the search.

Mr Bankhead, from Chester-le-Street, has scuba dived in the River Wear more than 500 times.

Flowers have been left at the scene Credit: ITV

"Police immediately wanted to deploy divers but after taking advice from the Environment Agency and fire service, were unable to do so due to bad weather conditions.

"We were made aware on Friday morning by Mr Bankhead that he was planning on taking it upon himself to go into the river to look under the bridge."

– Durham Police

Advertisement

Load more updates