The father of an 11-year-old boy who was struck by a pickup truck on Hamilton’s Mountain on Tuesday, says his son has died.
“This is the most heartbreaking thing we have ever experienced,” Jamie Stickland said about his son Jude in a Facebook post on Thursday morning.
“Just this past Tuesday morning we were shovelling snow together before school, and now he is gone.”
Investigators say a pickup truck struck the young boy at Upper Gage Avenue and Royalvista Drive between Stone Church and Rymal roads just before 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 1.
The young Strickland was believed to have been crossing Royalvista Drive in the marked crosswalk with the assistance of a crossing guard when he was hit, according to Hamilton police.
It’s alleged the driver of the Dodge Ram failed to stop for both the traffic light and the crossing guard.
Police have now upgraded charges for the 28-year-old driver, accused of dangerous driving causing death.
Strickland’s death is the 14th traffic fatality in Hamilton this year.
“I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. Praying for you and your family through this,” and “My heart breaks for your entire family,” were some of the messages left for dad Jamie Strickland on Facebook.
“We are grateful beyond words for all your love and support over these past days,” Strickland replied to the outpouring of support.
Strickland is a pastor of discipleship at the West Highland Church.
The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board says the flag at Templemead Elementary school will be lowered to show respect for the young boy.
“Words fail us as we express our empathy for what Jude Strickland’s family and loved ones are going through. Our thoughts are with them,” HWDSB chair Alex Johnstone and director Manny Figueiredo said in a joint statement on Thursday morning.
Jude Strickland was also a former student at Kortright Hills Public School in Guelph. On Thursday the board reached out to staff and the student body offering support following the news.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time,” Upper Grand District School Board spokesperson Heather Loney told Global News.
“There is a great deal of sadness at Kortright Hills PS today, as this student was a significant member of the school community. His loss will be felt by many.”
Police say the accused, Brandon Aubert, will appear in court on Dec. 10.