Chris Waters, from Haverhill, who was hit by a van was due to leave Christmas party by minibus, inquest hears

Chris Waters

Chris Waters - Credit: Archant

The family of a young father who was struck by a van following a work Christmas meal in Assington, near Sudbury, have said they are “devastated” at their loss.

Today, an inquest took place into the death of Christopher Waters, 26, from Roman Way, Haverhill, who was walking along the A134 when he was hit by a Ford Transit van on December 15, 2013.

He had arrived at the Shoulder of Mutton pub for a work Christmas function by pre-arranged minibus and was due to leave on the same bus. But the inquest, which was held in Bury St Edmunds, heard for reasons unknown Mr Waters took the road on foot.

Assistant coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone said it was difficult to know exactly how much he had had to drink, but he was found to have had 223 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit for driving is 80mlg.

Witnesses had also reported Mr Waters had been wearing dark clothing.

He died from his injuries sustained in the crash, which happened at about 6.40pm.

In a statement his family said: “Chris was a hardworking young dad who was enjoying a rare afternoon off at his work Christmas party. Sadly he later became involved in a terrible accident and we received the heartbreaking news that he had been killed.

“As a family, we are absolutely devastated to lose such a wonderful son, brother and father, and we will miss him every day for the rest of our lives.” They wanted to thank the many people who have supported them as they try to come to terms with their loss.

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The road where Mr Waters was struck is single-carriageway subject to the national speed limit, with no street lighting or pavements. In a statement read by Dr Sharpstone, one witness described their concern for Mr Waters’ safety after seeing him “staggering around in the main road”. They turned around to look for him, but lost sight of him.

Pc Kevin Stark said it was likely Mr Waters had stepped out just behind the property Angel House into the path of the van. Dr Sharpstone concluded he died from a road traffic collision.