Sheffield man killed while trying to help stranger 'will be remembered for helping others'

Chris Marriott's family paid tribute to him as a man who was devoted to 'helping others', as ITV News Correspondent Rachel Townsend reports

A father-of-two who died when a car ploughed into a crowd of people as he was trying to assist a stranger will be remembered for helping others, a church group has said.

Chris Marriott, 46, was walking in Sheffield 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, police have said.

As Mr Marriott was providing first aid to the woman, a car collided with them both and others.

Officers said a call had been made reporting a violent disturbance on College Close, in the Burngreave area of the city, and two men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Tributes have mounted for Mr Marriott, who has been described as a “good Samaritan” by police and was a much-loved member of his church.

The incident happened at the junction of College Court and College Close, in the Burngreave area of Sheffield Credit: Dave Higgens/PA

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

Mr Marriott's family have now released a statement via police, which said: “Chris was a wonderful husband, dad, brother, uncle - and friend to many.

“He devoted much of his life to helping others including at Sheffield College, Jubilee Foodbank and Debt Advice, Voluntary Action Sheffield, and more recently Community Money Advice and as a trustee of Manor and Castle After School and Kids Klubs.

“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.

“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.”

An officer at the scene of the incident in Burngreave, Sheffield Credit: Dave Higgens/PA

South Yorkshire Police confirmed that Mr Marriott was out for a post-Christmas walk with his family when he went to the aid of the woman just after 2pm on Wednesday.

It is believed the woman had been involved in an altercation and several other people suffered injuries during the incident, including an off-duty midwife who 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 which are not believed to be life-threatening and four further people, three women and a man, suffered minor injuries.

A 23-year-old man has been charged with murder and remains in custody.

A police statement said: “Hassan Jhangur, 23, of Whiteways Road, Sheffield, was arrested and has since been charged with murder and five counts of attempted murder.

“He remains in police custody and will appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (December 30).”

Det Ch Insp Andrew Knowles said: “This is an utterly heartbreaking case in which a Good Samaritan, who had stepped in to help a stranger in their time of need, has lost his life.

“Chris leaves behind a loving family including his devastated wife and two young sons.

“We are absolutely determined to secure justice for Chris and his loved ones following this horrific tragedy.”

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “The series of incidents in Burngreave are part of a live investigation and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on that.

“But the death of Chris Marriott, a father of two young children, is a heart-breaking tragedy.

"He died as he sought to help another person.

“We all need to reflect on how violent behaviour brings grief and misery. It never solves issues but only makes matters worse."

Burngreave 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.

A car is taken away following the incident.

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

Mr Knowles said: “Increased patrols will continue in the area in the coming days and local people will continue to see officers carrying out inquiries, including going house to house to gather witness statements.

“There are people in that community who hold information which is vital to our investigation and have not yet given statements.

“I want to be able to get to the bottom of what happened for Chris and his family.

“I need those people with information to do the right thing.”

Tarek Nayli, 49, said he came out of his nearby home to see fighting in the street, a number of injured people and neighbours telling him there were others trapped under a car.

Mr Nayli said: “I heard a lot of sound, a lot of voices, a lot of shouting. When I came out, I found people all gathering around and people fighting.

“One guy had a lot of blood on his face. The whole neighbourhood was out.”

“They said there were people underneath the car and when the police came they managed to get them out," he said.

“When the police came, they flipped the car over and they’ve taken two people out.”

“It was very, very sad and also very upsetting and I couldn’t believe it," said Mr Nayli.

“All of a sudden you find people dead and a very big crime.

“This is a disaster.”

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