'I’m determined to stay strong for our baby-to-be' - Heartbroken partner joins family and friends to honour bridge-fall victim Chris Brookes
The heartbroken family and friends of a man who fell to his death from a bridge gathered at the tragic spot in tribute.
Chris Brookes fell from a bridge over Wolverhampton’s ring road on the night of October 28.
In memory of the 22-year-old friends and family walked from Dudley to Wolverhampton and the spot where he fell raising £1,000 toward his funeral and a memorial bench.
Among those on the walk was his partner Sarah Jayne Collins, who is expecting their baby in January.
She said: “The support we had on the day was amazing.
“Chris was the perfect gentleman, and you could see that by the amount of people who came along, not just his family.”
She added: “Now is a difficult time as we prepare for the funeral, but I’m determined to stay strong for our baby-to-be.”
Sister-in-law Jodie Brookes said: “Everyone is obviously devastated by his death and it is still very raw.
“Doing events like the one on Saturday is a way of us all to come together and also raise money for his children.”
The walk started in Hillside Road in Dudley, where Chris’ family is from.
It finished just before midday at the footbridge between the city centre and railway station.
Chris’ parents Pauline Room and Phillip Brookes were also there as were his step mothers Julie Turley and Leanne Room along with three brothers Craig and Josh Brookes and Declan Room, who wore football shirts with Chris’ nickname ‘Brooky’ on the back. His sister Kelly Perry also took part. People taking part wore t-shirts with Chris’ name and picture on.
Cousin Claire Perry and friend Ruth Perry came up with the idea of the fundraising walk.
Jodie said: “It was first of all an idea to get together, and then there is a plan to get money together for a memorial bench, maybe at Gornal Crematorium where he will be buried.
“It was overwhelming to see so many people come together in support, and was nice for the family.” More than £4,000 has also been raised on an online fundraiser for Chris’ family. The target was £3,000, but it was exceeded within a week.
An inquest opening this week heard how Mr Brookes, of Tame Road, Oldbury, had been socialising with friends in the city centre. He then left his friends and was later found in the bus lane after apparently falling, the hearing heard.
He had been on his way home, according to the family. The funeral of the former Coseley School pupil, who worked as an assembler at Elta Fans, Kingswinford, will be held on November 29.
The fundraiser website is at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ripchrisbrookes