Family blown away by loving tribute to Chris

SUDBURY Colleagues of Christopher Waters who worked at Chambers Coach and Buses; who was killed on the road last Christmas pay tribute with T-Shirts pictured from left Kevin Pullen, Kerry Rippengale and Malcolm Taylor ANL-141222-202758009
SUDBURY Colleagues of Christopher Waters who worked at Chambers Coach and Buses; who was killed on the road last Christmas pay tribute with T-Shirts pictured from left Kevin Pullen, Kerry Rippengale and Malcolm Taylor ANL-141222-202758009

The mother of a young father, who was killed after a Christmas party last year, said she was taken aback by a generous gesture from his colleagues.

Twenty-six-year-old Chris Waters was hit by a van while walking home from a party at the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Assington on December 15, 2013.

On the anniversary of his death, his colleagues at Chambers bus and coach company in Sudbury wore T-shirts depicting his face and hung posters in all the buses with the slogan “Remember Chris”.

“We made an impromptu visit,” said Chris’ mother, Sharon Waters. “It was just amazing. I couldn’t believe it. It must have taken some planning.”

Malcolm Taylor, depot supervisor at Chambers, said: “The idea came from one of the drivers, Gary Tuff.

“We got the printers around the corner to blow up Chris’ picture. They did a good job.”

But this was not the only kind gesture his colleagues would show.

Drivers at the Chambers depot set up a tuck shop and donated the proceeds to a trust fund for Chris’ three-year-old son, Oscar.

“We had a whip round after Chris died,” said Mr Taylor. “We then set up a tuck shop – just chocolate bars, crisps and cold drinks – for the drivers to use.

“Everything cost 50p. We’ve raised thousands of pounds this year.

“We also made a little garden with a bench and a plaque and some flowers. The drivers can go there on their time off and in their breaks.

“Chris was a really nice, friendly bloke. He had a wicked sense of humour.”

Chris had been working for Chambers for three years. He began as a bus driver but changed to a cleaning role so that he could spend more time with his young son.

“He washed the buses and then parked them up at night,” said Mr Taylor. “He loved doing it. He loved the job.

“He had the hours that suited him, so he had all morning with his son. I can’t think of one person here who didn’t like Chris.”

Mrs Waters said: “It’s been incredible. I was really taken aback when they told me.

“I hardly knew Chris’ colleagues before, but they got in touch by email asking about Oliver. It was such a nice gesture.”

Chris was thought to have been hit by a Ford Transit van on the A134 as he made his way home after spending the afternoon with colleagues at the pub.

In a statement released after his death, his family – father Michael, mother Sharon and sisters Kate and Clare –described Chris as a loving man with a fantastic sense of humour.

“We are absolutely devastated by the loss of our dear Chris,” the family said. “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 so much and enjoyed every moment they spent together.

“He will leave a huge void in our lives, but our only comfort is that he knew how much we loved him, and he knew how proud we were of him, because we told him every day.”