Sheffield crash: Family of father killed while helping stranger says he died ‘showing sort of man he was’

Chris Marriott was providing first aid to the woman when a car collided with them both and others

Athena Stavrou
Friday 29 December 2023 14:42
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The family of a father-of-two who died when a car ploughed into a crowd of people as he was trying to help a stranger have said the circumstances of his death “show the sort of man he was”.

Chris Marriott’s family described him as a “wonderful husband, dad, brother, uncle, and friend to many” in a tribute released on Friday.

The 46-year-old was on a Christmas walk with his wife and two young sons, aged eight and six, when he went to the aid of a woman he spotted lying unconscious in the street in Sheffield.

As Mr Marriott was providing first aid to the woman on Wednesday afternoon, a car collided with both of them as well as others.

“The circumstances of his death, although tragic and unfathomable to us, his family, show the sort of man he was – to go to help rather than to turn away,” the family tribute said.

“Chris was also a man of faith who wanted others to also experience the joy he had found trusting in Jesus.

“We take comfort in these most difficult of times in our belief that he is with his Lord and Saviour, while we mourn his loss.

“We would urge anyone with any information to share this so that we can understand better the circumstances in which he died.”

It is believed the woman had been involved in an altercation and that several other people who suffered injuries during the incident, including an off-duty midwife, had also stopped to help.

A police spokeswoman said the woman Mr Marriott was helping remains in hospital in a life-threatening condition.

She said the off-duty midwife suffered minor injuries, another man received serious injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening and four further people, three women and a man, suffered minor injuries.

South Yorkshire Police said a 23-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder remains in custody, but a 55-year-old man arrested on suspicion of the same offences has been released on bail.

Mr Marriott worked for the charity Community Money Advice (CMA), was a member of City Church Sheffield, and helped set up and run the Jubilee Food Bank in the city.

The church group ChristCentral, which includes City Church, said in a statement that everyone was “deeply shocked” by Mr Marriott’s death.

It said: “Chris died doing what so many will remember him for, helping others.

“He had stopped to help an unconscious woman lying in the street and as he was providing first aid, a car collided with Chris, the woman and others.

“Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with his wife, and their two young sons.

“This is an unbelievably awful situation and we are heartbroken for the family.

“Please pray for them, for Chris’ wider family and friends, and for City Church Sheffield as they try to process this loss.”

Local residents said the incident happened outside a house at the junction of College Close and College Court, two quiet cul-de-sacs of modern houses near Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.

Neighbours said the altercation was related to some kind of dispute between two families relating to a wedding.

South Yorkshire Police Officers remain in the Burngreave area carrying out house-to-house enquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 459 of 27 December 2023.

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