A TAXI driver tried valiantly to save the life of a Sheffield community volunteer he saw dying in the street.
Gareth Carr, who works for City Taxis, was driving along Thornbridge Drive in Frecheville when he spotted Ron Holt, aged 86, lying on the ground being attended by a group of anxious passers-by.
Ron, a familiar face on the streets of Frecheville, had just set out as usual to go litter-picking with his friend, Tom Broomhead, 81, when he collapsed.
Good Samaritan Gareth stopped his car, turned it around, and drove back to help - giving Ron CPR in an attempt to save his life.
Sadly the pensioner had suffered heart failure and could not be revived.
Today Gareth - who simply got back in his car afterwards and went back to work - was praised by Ron’s grateful family, Ron’s pal Tom, and by his bosses at City Taxis.
Modest Gareth, aged 44, from Birley, said: “I just stopped and asked if there was anything I could do. There was a man on the ground with another man, and two women standing around him.
“One of the women said she had phoned for a paramedic but I could see he wasn’t breathing and knew he couldn’t wait that long.
“I asked the woman to get back on the phone and find out what we needed to do.”
Gareth last underwent first aid training after leaving school in 1984.
But he said: “I’ve seen CPR on the television, in the advert with Vinnie Jones, so I knew how to do it. I was at it for about 10 minutes until the paramedics turned up.”
Tom said: “Going out litter picking is something a small group of us do most mornings.
“We’d just set out and had only gone a couple of hundred yards up the road when I heard a clatter, turned around, and Ron had gone.
“The taxi driver stopped to help and tried for 10 minutes or so. He continued when the paramedics had arrived until they had got set up, and I’d like to thank him for his efforts.”
Ron, from Frecheville, was pronounced dead in the ambulance at the scene.
Linda Latif, one of his three children who lives in Rotherham, said: “I have called City Taxis to pass on my thanks to the taxi driver - we didn’t know his name.
“My dad was a gentleman in every sense, kind, generous and with a good sense of humour.
“He’d been litter picking for quite a few years - he used to go out almost every morning.
“He and his friends would walk around Frecheville Park and Ponds, fill 10 bags with cans, then sell them and give the money to Thornberry Animal Sanctuary.”
Paul Gosney, spokesman for City Taxis, said: “All staff and drivers at City Taxis join with so many others who knew Mr Holt in offering our deepest sympathy. Mr Holt’s final actions were helping his community while litter picking.
“One of our drivers pulled up and gave him attention at the side of road until emergency services arrived, and we thank him for assisting an upstanding member of the community.”
Ron died last Tuesday morning. The funeral is at 3.15pm next Wednesday, April 24, at City Road Crematorium. His family request donations to Thornberry Animal Sanctuary instead of flowers.