A young hit and run victim is to have his ashes scattered 4,000 miles from home at a place where his family say his dreams came true.
Lewis Knapp, who was 20 when he died at Easter last year, will be taken on his final journey to the Magic Kingdom resort at Disney World in Florida today.
As a schoolboy and teenager, he visited the theme park around six times with his mum Michelle Norton, 46, and other friends and family.
Michelle, 46, said the place had proved to be a special destination for her son – and he would have wanted to rest there.
She said Lewis had also planned to take his girlfriend Caitlyn Hardy, 20, to the resort on holiday.
Lewis, from Boldon Colliery, died while walking home from South Shields nightclub Roxanne’s at 4am on Good Friday.
It was always his favourite placeMichelle Norton
He was struck by a car driven Connor Emms, then 21, who had taken drugs and was driving dangerously.
Emms was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court in January for four-and-a-half years.
Today Michelle was due to fly with Lewis’ ashes from Newcastle Airport with her cousin Lisa Brash, 45, and Caitlyn.
Michelle, from Boldon Colliery, said: “He visited the Magic Kingdom many times and it was always his favourite place.
“Lewis would very much have wanted his ashes scattered there.
“He was going to take Caitlyn there and I feel we are following in his footsteps by making this trip.
“Scattering his ashes will be a very emotional experience for all involved. It will be a very special moment.”
Michelle, who has planned the trip for over a year, has had to seek special permission from Disney officials.
That was done with the support of the airline with which they are flying with from Newcastle International Airport.
She expects the ceremony to take place tomorrow on board a ferry with takes park visitors across a lake to the Magic Kingdom.
The group plan to video their journey, from start to finish, as a keepsake.
Emms was driving his Vauxhall Vectra at 60mph – double the speed limit - when he struck Lewis on April 15, 2017.
He admitted causing death by dangerous driving, drug driving, failing to stop after an accident, having no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
The court heard Emms, of Sycamore Avenue, South Shields, carried on driving and only handed himself in to police hours later after discovering his victim had died.