A FAMILY has paid tribute to a "confident, caring, understanding and witty" Dorset father who died in a crash on the A350 last weekend.

Anthony Graham Cassano, aged 38, from Christchurch, was out on a motorbike ride with a friend when he collided with an Audi Q5 near Motcombe village on Saturday afternoon.

He died at the scene.

In a statement issued by Wiltshire Police, Mr Cassano's family said: "Following an accident that happened on Saturday, September 12, on the A350 in Wiltshire our beloved son Tony Cassano, brother to Dean and father to Liam, tragically died whilst out with his friend on an afternoon motorbike ride.

"He loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping, fishing and spending time on his bike with his brother and friends.

"Tony will be remembered as a confident, caring, understanding and witty person who made friends easily. He was a true gentleman.

"The family would like to thank all the people that gave assistance at the scene of the accident especially the emergency services and all of the members of the public who worked so hard to help him.

"The family would also like to ask for privacy at this very devastating time."

As reported, emergency services were called to reports of the crash on the A350 north of Shaftesbury at around 2.35pm just over the county border into Wiltshire.

The route was closed for almost eight hours to allow emergency services to work and collision investigators to examine the scene.

Police are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information should contact Wiltshire Police, quoting log number 215 of September 12.