THE family of a pedestrian killed in a two-car collision said he had just received a visa to work in Australia to start a new life, his family said last night.

Neil McClure, 41, of Hartburn, near Stockton, suffered fatal head injuries in the incident, which involved a blue Honda Jazz and a blue Ford Fiesta at 3am on Saturday morning on Urlay Nook Road, Eaglescliffe, near Stockton-on-Tees.

The former serviceman was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees but died yesterday.

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Last night his devastated parents and brother paid tribute to him, saying that he had just got a visa to work in Australia and was looking forward to the venture.

Mr McClure spent his earlier working years in the Royal Navy, including nine years as a helicopter engineer, before leaving and gaining qualifications in non-destructive testing, a form of testing used in various engineering disc iplines.

He had been living at home with his parents in Hartburn but had a large circle of friends and enjoyed walking his two Staffordshire Bull Terriers and watching the Boro games.

On Friday night he had been watching the Boro v Birmingham City game in a pub in Yarm with some friends.

After watching the match and enjoying a few drinks he was making his way to stay with another friend. He was walking close to Egglescliffe School when the tragedy occurred.

A statement released from his family said: “We will deeply miss Neil. We can’t believe we have lost such a wonderful son so suddenly. He was about to start a new chapter in his life.

“He will be a great miss to all our family and his friends.”

Police said the drivers of both cars were travelling alone and neither suffered any injuries. It is not yet clear how two cars were involved and exactly how Mr McClure was struck.

Any witnesses, or anyone with information about the incident, is asked to contact Cleveland Police on its non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 215954.