‘He was dying in my arms’: Mum haunted by moments she found her son’s lifeless body as his killer fled

The heartbroken mum of an 18-year-old who was killed by a dangerous driver says her son’s death has ‘destroyed’ the family.

Marcus Simmons-Allen was just crossing the road with a friend when Connor Matthews drove towards him at 65mph – more than twice the speed limit.

The youngster was hit on George Richards Way, in Altrincham, and rushed to hospital in a critical condition on Sunday, October 10 last year.

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Tragically, the teenager died in hospital the following day.

Matthews, 23, was yesterday (February 8) sentenced to six years and eight months behind bars for Marcus’ death, as well as being banned from driving for eight years.

Marcus Simmons-Allen was crossing the road with a friend when he was hit by the car
Marcus Simmons-Allen was crossing the road with a friend when he was hit by the car

Marcus’ mum, Paula Allen, describes her son as ‘truly fab’ and says her family’s lives have been left in ‘tatters’ following his death.

In court, she bravely recalled the moments she found Marcus moments after the crash.

“I was the first person at Marcus’s side, holding him, trying to find his pulse.

“His lifeless body, my son dying in my arms. Time stood still.

“As the short hours passed, we had to accept that Marcus could not and would not ever survive. That night haunts me.”

In a video released after her son’s killer was jailed, she spoke further of the night her son was hit.

“So I was met by Marcus’s friend who was with him when the collision happened,” she said.

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“So I was on the scene before anybody else was there. It was me who actually found Marcus because he didn’t know where Marcus had actually gone.

“He was hysterical. And that’s when I saw Marcus. I didn’t know it was him at first, my eyes typically were just looking around. I thought maybe he’d been clipped or I don’t know, but you’d be there somewhere, he’d be there and I couldn’t see.

Paula Allen has spoken out about the loss of her son Marcus as his killer, Connor Matthews (top right), is jailed
Paula Allen has spoken out about the loss of her son Marcus as his killer, Connor Matthews (top right), is jailed

“And then as I slowly drove nearer that’s when it became apparent that was my son.”

In a separate powerful statement, she thanked those who came to Marcus’ aid for giving his family the chance to say goodbye to him.

She said: “Marcus was a truly fab son. He was loving, caring, polite, and would help anybody.

“He was a popular lad who left a mark with everybody who had the pleasure of meeting him. He had a great group of friends, who shared plenty of laughs and fun.

“Marcus had a lifetime of dreams and ambitions ahead of him. He truly wanted to do something productive with his life and complete an engineering degree and follow a career in engineering. His fab sense of humor was as infectious as his smile.

Marcus Simmons-Allen
Marcus Simmons-Allen

“We now as a family, extended family are destroyed. Our lives are in tatters. The devastation and loss of Marcus is immeasurable and it’s affected friends, their families and community.

“We would like to thank all emergency services who responded to the incident on George Richards Way, then staff in trauma and ICU at Salford Royal – you gave us the time to say goodbye to our precious son.”

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Matthews, of Portland Road, Stretford, was driving a Volkswagen Scirocco on cloned plates when he hit Marcus at around 9pm last October 10.

GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit found that Matthews had visited McDonalds in the minutes before the collision.

He failed to stop at the scene after hitting Marcus, but the car was found by officers nearby, where it was seized for evidence.

Glasses that Matthews was seen wearing at McDonalds were found in the footwell of the vehicle.

He was tracked down five days later after officers found he’d contacted Specsavers for a new pair.

Matthews pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death whilst uninsured, and causing death whilst unlicensed.

Sgt Philip Shaw, from GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said the case was a brutal reminder of the consequences of driving dangerously.

He said: “Marcus had his whole life ahead of him at the young age of 18. He was simply crossing the road with a friend when Matthews was driving at over double the speed limit. Speed ‚Äč‚Äčlimits are there for a reason – they are there to keep people safe and save lives.

“He failed to stop at the scene and left the stolen vehicle abandoned – showing a complete disregard for his actions and Marcus’ life.

“Marcus’ family were and understandably still are, absolutely devastated due to the choices made by Matthews that night. There’s no excuse to drive at excessive speed and I would stress to all drivers to think carefully before speeding. This collision has devastated more than one life.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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