Tyne & Wear

Melissa Tate: Parents pay tribute to their 'beautiful' girl

Melissa Tate Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Melissa had "a heart of gold and not a bad bone in her body", her family said

A 10-year-old girl who died after being hit by a car in Newcastle had "a heart of gold", her family have said.

Melissa Tate was struck by a car on Hillsview Avenue, Newcastle, on Wednesday evening. She died in hospital on Thursday.

Connor Marsden has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and other driving-related offences.

The 23-year-old appeared at Newcastle Crown Court and was remanded in custody to appear on 28 October.

Mr Marsden, of Ambridge Way, Kenton, Newcastle, faces charges of causing death by driving while uninsured, causing death by driving while not having a licence, failure to report to police following an accident, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance.

No pleas were entered during the hearing.

'Heart of gold'

In a statement released through Northumbria Police, Melissa's parents 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."

Image copyright FAMILY PHOTO
Image caption Melissa's father said she was his "little rock"

A second 23-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, has been released under investigation, Northumbria Police said.

Two women, aged 31 and 28, arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, have also been released under investigation.

Northumbria Police have appealed for witnesses.

Follow BBC North East & Cumbria on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to northeastandcumbria@bbc.co.uk

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites