‘Small man with a big heart’: family mourns grandfather killed in hit-and-run

Harry McConnell “Happy-go-lucky”: Harry McCarroll was heading home to see his granddaughter Mia. Photo: Supplied

Rawiri Nicholson, pictured, tried to revive Harry McCarroll. Photo: Peter Rae

Harry McCarroll was thrown into the side of this house. Photo: Peter Rae

Harry McCarroll, 76, would spend his days walking the streets of Sydney’s south-west, waving at neighbours and smiling under his thick, white whiskers as he carried his shopping bags home.

The grandfather of seven was doing just this while heading home to see his granddaughter, Mia, when a car ploughed into him.

He was flung six metres through the air and into the side of a cream-brick house at Ambarvale on Monday morning.

Neighbour Rawiri Nicholson said he remembers hearing screaming after two men got out of a crumpled Nissan Pulsar and sprinted down Dickens Road without turning around.

Mr Nicholson rolled Mr McCarroll onto his back and tried to revive him but he lost consciousness.

Paramedics arrived and treated him but he later died at Campbelltown Hospital.

Mr McCarroll’s family described the retired Irish-born Leumeah Public School cleaner as a “happy-go-lucky” man who was looking forward to the birth of his first great-grandchild.

A suspended learner driver, who was later charged over the alleged hit-and-run, was allegedly under the influence of cannabis and crystal methamphetamine and driving a stolen car at the time, a court heard.

“I heard this big bang and then saw a car flipped over on our lawn and that’s when we noticed this guy on our stairways,” Mr Nicholson said.

“He was a really nice guy – we saw him pass here often.”

Matthew Lehn, 24, of Ingleburn, appeared briefly before Campbelltown Local Court on Tuesday after police arrested him and his alleged passenger on Monday night.

The accused spent the night in custody after police charged him with nine offences, including dangerous driving occasioning death, driving under the influence, negligent driving occasioning death, failing to stop and assist after impact causing death and possessing a prohibited drug.

His lawyer told the court his client did not want to appear, but magistrate Robert Rabbidge ordered him to come up from the holding cells.

He was refused bail and is expected to face Campbelltown Local Court on August 14.

Mr McCarroll’s ex-wife Siobhan, who has know him for the past 50 years, said he was a simple man who loved the sun, his kids, grandchildren and his three “sausage” dogs.

“He was a small man with a big heart,” she said.

“Harry would do anything for you and he would give anyone his last 10 bucks.”

“Everyone knows him. He is one of those people who chats to everyone and he walked absolutely everywhere.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.

Mr McCarroll is survived by his two daughters, Siobhan and Helen, and seven grandchildren.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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