Heartbroken mum of girl, 10, killed by dangerous driver pleads for people to learn from her daughter's death

A heartbroken mother whose 10-year-old daughter was killed by a dangerous driver says it’s been a year since she heard her laugh but it ‘still feels like yesterday’.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 9:54 am
Updated Friday, 25th September 2020, 9:54 am

Kim Wilson has urged drivers to learn from the death of her daughter Melissa after she was robbed of her life on September 25 last year.

The 10-year-old, who was known as Missy, had been playing with friends in a residential area of Kenton when she was knocked down by Connor Marsden as he travelled at more than twice the 20mph limit.

He fled the scene and left Melissa to die on the road side, surrounded by her young friends who will have to live with what they saw forever.

Melissa Tate was killed by a dangerous driver

Her 31-year-old mum said: “The past year has been awful and it doesn’t get any better with time. You just learn to get on with each day but every single day we still wake up heartbroken.

“It has been a year since I saw her smile, a year since I heard her laugh but it still feels like yesterday.”

“People think they can have a couple of drinks and then get behind the wheel or drive at over the speed limit and it won’t matter, it just isn’t the case,” added Kim.

Read More

Read More
City leaders deny Sunderland has a rat problem - and accuse opponents of 'shamef...
Melissa with dad Michael Tate

“Connor didn’t know he was going to hit Melissa that day but I will never, ever be able to forgive him for what he did.

“If people don’t think about their actions then they could ruin the lives of so many different people. It’s not just our lives that have been ruined but it’s Connor’s life as well.

“It’s the lives of those young children who had to witness what happened to Melissa, who were by her side when she was on the side of the road.

“The only glimmer of hope is that people can learn from Melissa’s death and that people think twice about their actions when they get behind the wheel.”

Melissa and sister Lili

Kim, and Melissa’s father Michael Tate, will remember their daughter in a private balloon release on Sunday, September 27.

Attendees will be Melissa’s sister Lili and Kim’s four-week-old son Henry, who never had a chance to meet his big sister.

Kim said: “It is Lili’s birthday on Saturday and so we have always said the anniversary of Melissa’s death was Sunday when her heart beat for the last time before her organs were donated.

“Lili and Melissa were joined at the hip and I know that however much my heart has been hurting that Lili’s heart will be hurting a hundred times more.

“We have had to watch as Melissa’s friends have gone on to high school and it just makes us think about the fact Melissa should be wearing that uniform now.

“She was an incredible person. She was so kind-hearted, she had so much love to give and she brought a smile to everyone she met.”

Melissa will also be known as a well-liked member of Northumbria Police’s Mini Police scheme.

Marsden, 24, of Ambridge Way, Kenton, was jailed for seven years and four months at Newcastle Crown Court last December after admitting a string of driving offences, including causing death by dangerous driving.

A message from the editor:

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

You can subscribe to this website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Simply click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.