A young father who was killed after being struck by a van as he left a Christmas party has been described as ‘kind and loving’ and ‘loyal and generous’.
Chris Waters, 26, from Roman Way, Haverhill, was hit by a van while walking on the road after leaving a Christmas party at the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Assington, near Sudbury, on Sunday (December 15), leaving his family ‘absolutely devastated’.
Police were initially called at around 6.20pm by a driver who reported she was concerned for a man walking along the A134 at Newton.
Officers went to the area to find him and then received a second call from a driver of a Ford Transit van who reported he had been involved in a collision on the road between Newton and Assington at around 6.30pm.
A search began in the area and at around 7.30pm Mr Waters’ body was found.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A statement from Mr Waters’ family read: “We are absolutely devastated by the loss of our dear Chris – a kind and loving young man, who was loyal and generous with a big heart and a fantastic sense of humour.
“He had a wise head on young shoulders and impressed us all with his maturity and determination to be a fantastic father to Oscar.
“Chris and Oscar loved each other so much and enjoyed every moment they spent together – we keep expecting Chris to walk through the door to delighted screams of ‘My daddy, my daddy!’
“In just 26 years, Chris gave and received more love than many will do in a lifetime.
“We were proud to call him our son, our brother, our friend.
“He will leave a huge void in our lives, but our only comfort is that he knew how much we loved him, and how proud we were of him, because we told him every day.”
Mr Waters leaves behind his two year old son Oscar, sister Kate and Clare, father Michael and mother Sharon.
He studied at St Felix Primary School in Haverhill before moving to St Louis and St Benedict’s schools in Bury St Edmunds.
The Arsenal fan had previously played for AFC Thurlow, and Chris Loveday, from the club, said: “He was a really top lad.
“On behalf of all the team our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”
Mr Waters worked at Chambers bus company, in Sudbury.
Gary Tuff, depot manager at Chambers said Mr Waters had left the party at the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Assington at 6pm.
“He left to get a lift home from his dad,” he said. “He should not have started walking to meet him.”
Mr Tuff said Mr Waters had worked at the company for two-and-a-half years. He had started out as a driver, and had become responsible for cleaning and refuelling the buses.
“He was one of the nicest gentlemen you could ever met,” he said.
“He was very reliable and trustworthy and a fit young man.
“This is a terrible thing to happen.”
Although police have spoken to a number of people who had been in the area on the evening they are keen to hear from anyone who had been driving along the A134 at Assington and saw the man walking along the road, or from anyone who witnessed the collision.
Sergeant Bob Patterson from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Serious Collision Investigation Team said: “This is a tragic incident and one which will be subject to a full collision investigation.
“Prior to this incident we received a call from a concerned motorist saying they had seen someone walking along the road.
“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full details but from the initial information received it would appear the gentleman had been making his way home after spending time out with friends.
“We would urge people to take care on the county’s roads and wherever possible avoid walking along roads where, especially at this time of year, the light can be very dim, even during the daytime.
“We would stress the importance of arranging a lift or using public transport and taxis. If there really is no other option, walk in well-lit areas on pedestrian pathways and wear bright reflective clothing.”
l If you can help police with their enquiries, call Pc Allie Cotton at the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Suffolk Police by dialling 101.
You can pay tribute to Mr Waters on the Haverhill Echo’s Facebook page.
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, December 19) Echo.