Family speak of ‘grief’ over biker’s death as US seeks jurisdiction just in case
The mother of a motorcyclist who was allegedly killed by a servicewoman said his death had “heartbroken” her family, as the US Air Force tried to assert its jurisdiction in prosecuting the suspect.
Father-of-one Matthew Day, 33, died of his injuries after a red Honda Accord car collided with the Yamaha motorbike he was riding in the village of Southery, near Downham Market , Norfolk, August 26th.
Airman First Class Mikayla Hayes, 23, based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, is accused of causing the death of Mr Day by careless driving.
The incident happened in the constituency of Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Speaking of Mr Day’s death, his mother Trudi Beston told the PA News Agency: ‘We would like to pay tribute to Matthew for being in our lives through good times and bad.
“Unfortunately, he was taken from us too soon through no fault of his own.
“We thought we would have many more years together.
“He leaves a heartbroken mother, sister and stepfather.
“He also tragically leaves behind a loving companion and a two-year-old daughter he adored. He misses his daughter terribly.
“She now has to grow up without her father in her life.
“We all love and miss Matthew terribly and he will forever be in our hearts, we can’t imagine a future without him here.”
More than £1,000 has been raised to cover Mr Day’s funeral costs after one of his friends set up a crowdfunding page to ‘ease some of the stress the family are currently facing’.
At a hearing in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 31, prosecutor Caroline Gardner said the United States Air Force (USAF) had served the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with a certificate under the Visiting Forces Act of 1952, which asserts its competence.
It is understood that, if granted, Hayes could face a US military tribunal.
But the CPS will argue that she was not on duty or acting in the line of duty at the time of the incident, which is believed to have taken place as she was driving home from base.
Major Keavy Rake, USAF public affairs chief at RAF Lakenheath, had previously said the base was aware of the incident and “will remain in full cooperation with Norfolk authorities during the investigation”.
Norfolk Police said officers were called to the collision on the B1160 Lynn Road at its junction with Ferry Bank shortly after 4pm.
Hayes was arrested, charged and remanded in custody following a hearing at Norfolk Magistrates’ Court on August 29.
She was later released on bail with conditions of living at her home in Downham Market and being present at King’s Lynn police station every Saturday.
Hayes’ passport must be retained by the USAF, she is not permitted to apply for documents for international travel, and she cannot leave England and Wales.
– More information on the funeral crowdfunding page can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/raise-money-for-matt-days-funeral?qid=f5155eb7e8cc301ed869447e06276573