A Wearside man has been killed after being hit by a car on Christmas Eve.
Liam Rogerson, 28, from Houghton, had been visiting his sister in Dartford, Kent, for the holidays when he was knocked over at a pedestrian crossing near to her home by a driver who failed to stop.
His sister Faye, 23, brother Niall, 19, and Faye’s fiancé Chris rushed to be at Liam’s side, but he was declared dead at the scene.
The electrical engineer’s family have spoken of their devastation at losing their son, who had been looking forward to spending Christmas with his siblings.
His father, Bill, from Whitburn, said: “He’d just bought a new car and this was his first long trip.
“His sister is engaged to be married and now lives in Kent. Liam and his brother Niall decided to drive down to spend Christmas with her. They were close with each other and wanted to make it special.
“Faye only has one spare bedroom so Liam had dropped Niall off at her house, as he’s the youngest, and he had booked into a hotel across the road. He’d checked in and was going back to meet them all at her house when he was hit by the car.”
Liam’s phone had been flung into the road by the impact and when Faye rang to see if her brother was on his way, a witness answered and informed her of the tragedy.
At the time paramedics were treating Liam at the scene, but were unable to revive him.
Faye and her brother rang their parents Bill, 59, and Sandra, 57, who immediately made the journey to 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.
A spokesperson from Kent Police said the black Vauxhall Corsa was recovered later on Christmas Eve in Bexleyheath. The vehicle had been driven away from the scene toward the M25.
“We are all heartbroken,” said Bill.
Because the coroner’s office is closed over Christmas, the former St Robert of Newminster School pupil’s family are now waiting for his body to be released so they can arrange for his funeral to take place back home in Houghton.
Bill paid tribute to his eldest son, who’d also attended St Michael’s Primary School in Houghton, saying: “He was a mild-mannered man, very polite, organised and reliable. He was very practical. He’d bought an old house and did it up with his brother.
“He loved his rock music. His real strength was in technology and electronics, that’s what he studied as an apprentice.”
Pursuing his passion for electronics, Liam worked at Dynamic Arc, a welding machinery firm in Seaham, as an electrical engineer panel fitter.