THE parents of tragic Jay McCormick have told how they cradled their precious son in their arms as he died after a horror smash.
Medics battled to save the 19-year-old’s life at the scene in Ashdale, Mount Pleasant, near Penshaw, after the Suzuki Swift he was in crashed into three parked cars on Sunday night.
His parents Henry and Deborah rushed to the spot after Jay’s pal, Callum Smart, hurried to their Pinewood Avenue home, in Washington, to say he thought their son had been involved.
Police confirmed he had been in the car and they drove to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where the couple and their daughter Lauren, 22, and Callum were by his side as he died.
Engineer Henry, 39, worked with the 19-year-old at Bel Valves in Newcastle, where his hard-working son was entering the third year of his apprenticeship.
He said: “He died in our arms. We were able to tell him we loved him and were able to kiss him, he held on for us and then he let go.”
“If it wasn’t for Callum we wouldn’t have known and we have got a lot to thank him for, more than he’ll ever realise.”
Police have been working with the family in the aftermath of the collision to piece together what happened.
The family today thanked officers, the nurses and friends of Jay for their support as the couple come to terms with the loss of their “baby boy.”
They moved to Washington from Greenock, Invercylde, in Scotland, when Jay was three-years-old for Henry’s work.
The former St Robert of Newminster pupil’s passion for engineering was sparked by his dad and his love of working with his hands.
And he had been thrilled to be given a new project to work on as part of his apprenticeship just days before tragedy struck.
Since the accident, Jay’s friends have set up tributes at the scene, including a the flag of St Andrew’s Cross in honour of his Scottish roots.
Deborah, also 39, said: “He was such a good, loving boy.
“He was the life and soul of the party and he loved all his friends.”
Henry added: “He would give you the last beat of his heart, that was just the way he was.
“He had a heart of gold, anybody would tell you that, people at work, his friends, his family.
“There are no words to describe or prepare you for the situation where you will learn and have to plan for your son’s death at 19-years-old; nothing.”
Jay was a member of North Biddick Club and enjoyed socialising with his large group of friends.
He was also close to his nine cousins, including seven-month-old Rogan, whose christening he attended just weeks ago.
Investigations are still ongoing into the crash, which happened just before 9pm.
A 23-year-old man remains in a critical condition in Newcastle’s RVI after suffering serious injuries.
Two men, aged 25 and 34, have been arrested in connection with the collision.
Witnesses or anyone with information should phone 101 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.