Organs of ten-year-old Melissa Tate, killed in alleged hit-and-run, donated to charity
30 September 2019, 19:43 | Updated: 30 September 2019, 19:44
The family of a 10-year-old girl who had a "heart of gold" have donated her organs so other children can live, after she was killed in a suspected hit-and-run incident.
Melissa Tate suffered fatal injuries after she was hit by a Renault Kangoo on Hillsview Avenue in Kenton, Newcastle on Wednesday evening.
She died in hospital the following afternoon. 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.
"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.