Heartwarming tributes have been paid at the funeral of a popular son who was killed after being hit by a car on Christmas Eve.
St Michael’s RC Church, in Houghton, was standing room only for Liam Rogerson who died in Dartford, Kent, after being knocked over at a pedestrian crossing near to his sister Faye’s home by a driver who failed to stop.
Electrical engineer Liam had been visiting Faye, 23, who along with brother Niall, 19, and Faye’s fiancé Chris rushed to be at Liam’s side following the incident, but he was declared dead at the scene.
Liam’s phone had been flung into the road by the impact of the crash and when Faye rang to see if her brother was on his way, a witness answered and informed her of the tragedy.
More than 150 people packed into the Durham Road church to say a final farewell to popular Liam who was described as “never having a bad word to say about anyone”.
Family friend Robert Nelson read out tributes from Liam’s devastated family at the service.
Liam’s dad Bill said spoke of his independent son, who bought his own home in Houghton and did improvements on it with Niall, as well as helping with caring for grandparents in times of ill health.
“He was really looking forward to spending Christmas Faye, Niall and Chris.
“In his own words he said ‘I’m going to take Chrismtas down to them Dad’.
“He was in high spirits when I spoke to him so you can imagine my disbelief when I heard the news.
“He was cruelly taken from us just when he was looking forward to spending Christmas with the ones he loved.
“No parent expects to be having a funeral for their son when he is just 28-years-old.
“He was a lovely young man who lived life to the full and had so much to live for.
“I love you and will remember you forever.”
Tributes from Faye, Niall and Liam’s mum Sandra were also read out at the service.
Sandra’s read: “He is in my heart, my thoughts, my soul.
“We will miss him and love him, that’s all I can say.”
Niall said: “I will try to live up to what you expect of me.”
Liam, whose passions were music and cars, attended St Michael’s Primary School in Houghton before going on to St Robert of Newminster in Washington.
He suffered serious skull injuries in a road accident near his home in 2000, but bravely tried to protect his friend Alistair Johnson.
The accident affected Liam’s ability to play rugby which he enjoyed, but he went on to make a full recovery and on finishing school went to South Tyneside and Sunderland colleges.
Pursuing his passion for electronics, Liam got a job at Dynamic Arc, a welding machinery firm in Seaham, as an electrical engineer panel fitter.
Father Bill O’Gorman, who led the service and knew Liam, also paid tribute to him, saying: “He was a reliable young man.
“Dependent, punctual, quiet, gentle and sincere.
“He used his talents to live life to the full.”
Kent Police say two people - a 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman - were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and perverting the course of justice.
They have since been bailed until a later date.