A HEARTBROKEN mother has spoken of the devastation of losing her first child – one year after the schoolgirl was killed by a dangerous driver.

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.

Kim, 31, says that the only “glimmer of hope” she can take is that other people will hopefully read Melissa’s story and think twice about their responsibility on the road.

“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,” said Kim.

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

“This kind of thing was always something you read about, or has happened to a friend of a friend. You never think it will happen to your family.

“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.

“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.”

Kim, and Melissa’s father Michael Tate, will remember their daughter in a private balloon release on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary.

They consider Sunday to be the day Melissa passed away as it was the last time her heart beat before her organs were donated to those in need.

Attendees at the memorial 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 “bitter sweet” that Henry has entered a world without Melissa and her “incredible personality”.

She 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.

“Henry being born has helped Lili but it is bitter sweet for me because I know that he will never get to meet Melissa or get to know her.

“He is not going to grow up with her, or know how amazing she was. I’m going to have to tell him everything about his big sister and that does upset me.

“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. Her Mini Police card and number were retired from service after her death.

Marsden, of Ambridge Way, Kenton, was arrested by police the day after the collision on Hillview Avenue. CCTV footage showed he had been drinking in the hours before the collision.

The 24-year-old 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.

If you want to report information about dangerous driving to police, or send in dash-cam footage, then you can do so online at the Northumbria Police website.