Natalie Marshall: Friend who survived the crash pays tribute

Written by Javed Iqbal

A MAN who survived a fatal car accident that killed a friend who was “like a sister” has said her death “does not seem real”.

Chris Walton was a passenger in the Mercedes C Class, which hit a tree on the A167 in Darlington in the early hours of Friday 17 June.

The 22-year-old was taken to James Cook University Hospital with serious injuries, including a broken leg.

Tragically, Natalie Marshall, 25, who was driving, died of her injuries.

The Northern Echo: Natalie Marshall Natalie Marshall

Friday night, her beloved balloons drop in memory of her in the skate park in her hometown of St Helen Auckland.

Read more: Balloon release in memory of Natalie Marshall

Chris, who is unable to attend the event as he is still in the hospital, has paid tribute to the woman who is “like a sister” to him.

He said, “I’ve known Natalie for a long time. We got along well. We used to be up all night and wanted to write to each other.

“We sat and talked all night. No matter what we said to each other, we did not look at each other differently.

“She was like a sister. We used to call each other brother and sister.”

The couple had been in Middlesbrough visiting friends and were on their way home when the accident happened shortly after noon.

The Northern Echo: Chris Walton Chris Walton

Chris, from West Auckland, does not remember anything about the collision and woke up in the hospital.

His treatment has included stitches in the head, plastic surgery on the lip and metal pins and plates in the right leg.

He also injured his hand and has bruises in his lung.

The doctors can not say when he can go home, and he must first learn to walk again.

Chris said, “I can not explain how I feel. It’s hard to sit here because you’re just thinking about how your body feels.

“I have not been outside for seven days.

“What has happened does not feel right.”

Natalie, a cell phone sales consultant in Bishop Auckland, was popular with a wide circle of friends.

She was well known in the area, and her sudden death has astonished the local community and destroyed those closest to her.

The Northern Echo: Natalie, in the middle, with Shannon, left, and Corrina-MaeNatalie in the middle with Shannon on the left and Corrina-Mae

She had recently become the guardian of her younger sisters, Corrina-Mae, 17, and 14-year-old Shannon.

Read more: Fundraiser to help Natalie’s teenage sisters

They are now being cared for by their older sister, Chloe, 28, and close family friends Shannon Murray, 25, of Crook, who has started an online fundraiser.

So far, benefactors have donated almost £ 4,000 to help them.

To donate, click here.

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Javed Iqbal

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