SCHOOL children blew bubbles and mourners dressed in blue as hundreds attended the funeral of a schoolgirl killed in a suspected hit-and-run.
Melissa Tate, 10, was hit by a car on Hillsview Avenue in Newcastle at 6.40pm on September 25.
Hundreds have gathered for the funeral of ten-year-old Melissa Tate[/caption]
Melissa died in September after a suspected hit-and-run[/caption]
The driver stopped nearby but fled the scene on foot.
Melissa was rushed to hospital but died the following day, her sister’s ninth birthday.
Hundreds gathered at the West Road Crematorium to lay Melissa to rest.
Attendees wore blue clothing emblazoned with the word ‘Missy’, Melissa’s nickname, and Melissa’s schoolfriends blew bubbles as the hearse arrived.
A floral tribute spelling out “Missy” accompanied her coffin, which was also blue and decorated with white hearts.
The hearse was followed by cars containing Melissa’s family, who were seen comforting one another as they entered the crematorium.
Many mourners had to stand outside the overflowing venue.
Melissa’s family said she had told them a few years ago that she wanted to join the organ donor register, and that as a result she has saved the lives of four other children.
A fund set up to help Melissa’s family cover the costs of her funeral, called Missy’s Forever Fund, raised over £9,000.
Melissa’s grandmother, Lisa Tara, previously paid tribute to her granddaughter, saying: “Us as a family, we just can’t thank people enough for what they’ve done.
“Just even by sending messages, laying flowers and donating, we just can’t thank you enough from the bottom of our hearts.
“We didn’t realise how much humanity was out there over the evil.
“It’s just proved to us as a family how many people are out there that do care.
“If I can get even just one family to register themselves and their children to be donors and be brave just like our Missy was, I’ll have achieved what Missy has set out in life, and that is to get this out in the open.
“Missy has given hope to four other families and we are just so proud that she was able to do that for those families.”
One person has been charged in relation to Melissa’s death.
Connor Marsden, 23, of Ambridge Way in Kenton, Newcastle, faces charges of causing death by dangerous driving.
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He has also been charged with failure to stop, causing death by driving while uninsured, causing death by driving whilst without a licence, driving without insurance, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and failure to report to police after an accident.
He will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on October 28.
A floral tribute spelling out Missy – Melissa’s nickname – accompanied the ten-year-old’s coffin[/caption]
Melissa had asked to be added to the organ donor register, and has saved the lives of four other children[/caption]
The funeral was held today at West Road Crematorium in Newcastle[/caption]
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