Mum's pain at wait for justice over son's death in USA

Reporter:

David Humphreys

A mother has expressed her pain at being no closer to justice for her son’s death a year on from an arrest being made.

In August last year, the man thought to be responsible for causing the death of former Saltney High School pupil, Andrew Hamilton, 27, was arrested in the state of Georgia in the United States.

Andrew’s mother Jackie has said she feels “very sad, let down and angry” that no progress has been made in bringing justice for her son 12 months on.

Mr Hamilton died after being struck by a speeding car in the early hours of October 13, 2015.

The airline cabin crew member, who lived in Chester, was hit by a silver BMW while crossing the road on Collins Avenue, 11th Street, in Miami Beach at 2.30am.

Reports from the scene claimed Mr Hamilton died instantly and the driver of the vehicle fled on foot.

The state attorney’s office has confirmed the driver of the vehicle was Frank Strachan Jr, 23.

Officers said that lawmakers in Miami-Dade County are awaiting the conclusion of a case against him in Georgia, where he was picked up by marshals, before he can be tried for the incident involving
Mr Hamilton. There is no timescale as to how long proceedings in Georgia would take.

Andrew’s mother, Jackie, said she felt her son was being treated “like a criminal” and criticised the Foreign Office for a perceived lack of support.

She said: “We get updates but not as many as I like, it’s always the same answer though: he’s in Georgia waiting to be extradited, which is a joke.

“We feel as a family they’re treating Andrew as a criminal still.

“He was a hard-working lad
who went to work everyday, worked hard, was never in trouble with the law and he was loved by many and still is.

“It was his dream to go to Miami and he did, he loved the USA, he used to say he would move there one day.

“He went on holiday and never came back.

“As a family we tried so hard to get on with our lives and try and get through each day but it’s so hard as there is a huge part of our lives missing and we will never be the same again.”

According to a report from the Miami Herald newspaper, upon his extradition Mr Strachan will be charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and causing a death through careless driving while driving without a licence.

The report added Miami Beach Police said Mr Strachan was a fugitive from fraud charges in several states, including Georgia, and on probation from a New York conviction.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Our staff have continued to support the family of a British man who died in Florida in 2015.”

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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