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Man killed by car driven into crowd was ‘Good Samaritan’ helping a stranger

A police cordon on Scott Road, Burngreave (Dave Higgens/PA)
A police cordon on Scott Road, Burngreave (Dave Higgens/PA)

A father-of-two who died after a car ploughed in a crowd of people during disturbance was a Good Samaritan who was trying to help a stranger, police have said.

On Thursday night, South Yorkshire Police named the 46-year-old man who died in the incident in College Close, in the Burngreave area of Sheffield, as Christian Marriott.

The force said Mr Marriott, who was known as Chris, was out for a post-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 just after 2pm on Wednesday.

Officers believe he left his family and stopped to provide first aid to the woman, before a car then collided with them both and a number of others.

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.

Detective Chief Inspector 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.”

Two men arrested in connection with the incident – one on suspicion of murder – remain in custody, the force said.

Christian Marriott
Christian Marriott (South Yorkshire Police/PA)

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.

Police had already been called to a violent disturbance in the street when the car ploughed into those gathered outside.

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

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. If you don’t want to talk to us directly, you can use Crimestoppers and remain 100% anonymous.”

A 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and a 55-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Both remained in custody on Thursday night.

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.

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.

The scene of incident in the Burngreave area of Sheffield (Dave Higgens/PA)

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.”

Mr Nayli said the car involved was already there by the time he became aware of the incident and the police arrived two minutes after he did.

He said: “I saw people fighting on that corner before the police came and the car was already there.

“The whole neighbourhood was out.”

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

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

Mr Nayli said one injured man was already sitting beside the car and a woman was also clearly hurt.

Police in College Close, Sheffield (Dave Higgens/PA)

Asked about the fighting he saw, he said: “I didn’t see any weapons but there was a lot of hitting and one guy had a stick.”

Mr Nayli said he only found out later that someone had died.

He said: “It was very, very sad and also very upsetting and I couldn’t believe it.

“All of a sudden you find people dead and a very big crime. This is a disaster.”

On Thursday morning, police continued to guard an extensive cordon around the close, which about a mile and a half from the city centre.

The cordon was dropped later in the day as forensic officers and detectives continued their inquiries in the small semi-detached property.