Family pay tribute to 'fabulous man' claimed in hit-and-run
Gavin Bolam, 56, lived in Hebburn for around 20 years after growing up in the Pelaw area.
He was walking home from an evening with friends in Bill Quay when he was struck by a car which then drove off.
The tragedy happened at 12.15am today on Victoria Road East, near to Burn Terrace and Mill Crescent.
A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in police custody.
Gavin, who worked for a Washington print firm, was a keen Newcastle United fan and enjoyed playing guitar.
In a statement his relatives said: "We as a family have no idea how to begin to deal with the loss with which we now face.
"Gavin was a fabulous man who was loved by so many and whose kindness and compassion touched the lives of so many people.
"Our only comfort at this tragic time comes from the overwhelming support of friends, those who knew him and those touched by these events.
"We would ask that we are given time to grieve in private the loss of a man who was 'simply the best'."