FLORAL tributes have been left to a tragic teenager following his heartbreaking death on the region’s railway.

Flowers were left on the platform at the station in Chester-le-Street after it emerged Jamie McKitten had been struck by a train.

A family friend said the youngster never got over the death of his mother who died after she was attacked by his father when he was just four.

Emergency services were called out on Wednesday evening and all trains between Durham and Newcastle were stopped for the evening.

Councillor Linda Marshall, who represents the area on Durham County Council, said: “I knew him and have seen him grow up.

Over £7,000 has been raised by friends of Jamie McKitten

Over £7,000 has been raised by friends of Jamie McKitten

“He was so funny and lovely with it. He was a cheeky chappie and was well known in the community.

“He was well-liked and was not troublesome.

“He liked company, his friends and his family. It is so sad.”

Tributes have been left at Chester-le-Street station

Tributes have been left at Chester-le-Street station

Tributes have been left at Chester-le-Street station

Jamie will be missed by many

Tributes have been left at Chester-le-Street station

Jamie was popular with his friends

The 17-year-old lived in Great Lumley with his grandparents, Shelley and Joe, who are well known for running social clubs in Great Lumley and Pelton Fell.

They have looked after Jamie, and his elder brother, Ross, since 2008 when his mother, Kelly, was murdered by Jamie’s father, Stuart Cummings.

Harrowing details of how the young boys witnessed the attack in their Pelton Fell home emerged during the case at Newcastle Crown Court when Cummings was jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years.

Kelly McKitten

Kelly McKitten

Cllr Marshall said: “He never got over what happened.

"His grandmother called me after she had spoken to the police and she is broken.

“They are a lovely, lovely normal family beset by tragedy.”

North Durham MP Kevan Jones has been supporting the family since 2008 and spoke to Jamie’s grandmother on Thursday night, referring them to the If You Care Share Foundation, a suicide support charity.

Mr Jones said: “I have known the family for a number of years, and they are lovely hard-working people.

“Jamie was a lovely lad and I saw him recently in Chester-le-Street with his grandfather.

“This is a such a tragedy and my heart goes out to them.”

Jamie McKitten

Jamie McKitten

Now friends and relatives are raising money to pay his funeral and an online crowd funding site has raised over £7,000 already.

Writing on the web page, organiser Courtney Wilson said: “Our young Jamie gone far too soon, he was the light to all of our lives and the life to all of our parties.

“We’re all absolutely heartbroken and you’ll be the biggest miss to us all.

“All donations will be going towards the family for funeral costs, we would absolutely appreciate any help at all.

“Let’s give him the biggest send-off he deserves!”

The website is full of kind words from people who knew the youngster.

Louise Barton said: “Rest in peace Jamie, you’ve touched the hearts of people who only know you through others, I wish that never had to be the case though if only everyone had the privilege of meeting you in person.”

Jamie spent a short period of time at The Hermitage Academy, before going to Elemore Hall School in High Pittington.

His former school mates are being offered professional support to help them cope with the tragedy.

A spokesperson from Hermitage Academy said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of ex-student Jamie McKitten.

“We have reached out to offer support to students who we knew were close to him and we encourage any students or staff affected by the news to seek support if they need it.

“Our thoughts are very much with Jamie’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

 To support the fundraiser for Jamie's funeral CLICK HERE

  • If you need help contact the Samaritans' helpline number 116 123.