Tuesday 22 October 2019

'She was a little hero' - family of girl (10) killed in suspected hit-and-run on donating her organs

Melissa Tate died following a suspected hit-and-run in Newcastle
Photo credit: Northumbria Police/PA Wire
Melissa Tate died following a suspected hit-and-run in Newcastle Photo credit: Northumbria Police/PA Wire
Melissa Tate with her father Michael Photo credit: Northumbria Police/PA Wire

Tom Wilkinson

The family of a 10-year-old girl who was killed in a suspected hit-and-run have donated her organs so other children can live and said she had a "heart of gold".

Melissa Tate suffered fatal injuries in the incident on Hillsview Avenue in Kenton, Newcastle, on Wednesday evening.

She died in hospital the following afternoon and her parents Michael Tate and Kimberley Wilson revealed their daughter had saved the lives of poorly children after the family decided to donate her organs.

In a joint statement, Mr Tate said: "Melissa was a beautiful, smart, funny, cheeky and laid-back girl who had a heart of gold and not a bad bone in her body.

Melissa Tate with her father Michael
Photo credit: Northumbria Police/PA Wire
Melissa Tate with her father Michael Photo credit: Northumbria Police/PA Wire

"She could brighten up anyone's day and all she ever wanted to do is help people.

"Even after passing she still went on to help others by donating her organs.

"She is a hero and always put others first."

Mr Tate added: "I counted on Melissa a lot to get me through some sad and dark times and she was my little rock.

"She loved doing silly dances, fun fighting and making silly noises with me.

"She was always pulling faces or telling everyone an embarrassing story that always made her laugh."

Northumbria Police said that following the collision, a vehicle was abandoned nearby and the driver fled the area on foot.

A 23-year-old local man appeared in court at the weekend charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News