Waterloo Regional Police last week arrested and charged a 17-year-old male in connection with the Oct. 22, 2010 motor vehicle collision on Barnswallow Drive in Elmira which claimed the life of 18-year-old Miles Hamilton. The male, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was driving a black Dodge pickup truck that collided with a white Chevrolet pickup truck in a private driveway and burst into flames. He was charged with impaired driving causing death, operation with over 80 mgs of alcohol causing death, dangerous operation causing death and possession of a controlled substance.
Hamilton, the only passenger in the vehicle, suffered fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The charges came with mixed emotions for Miles’ mother, Brenda Hamilton, who was contacted by police Mar. 11.
“It’s a little disheartening to know that all of the charges that were laid were all preventable,” she said. “There was no ‘accident,’ everything was due to poor judgment, which is very, very unfortunate.”
She also said the time since the accident that claimed Miles’ life has been very difficult for the entire family, adding she will never get over the pain of losing her son.
“Every day is hard, and some days are harder. That is the way that I describe it. It’s been a very slow process of learning how to live with a chronic ache of sadness.”
The fact that the case remained in limbo for nearly five months has also made it difficult to move on, she said, adding that now that charges have been laid it felt like a “step in the right direction” in the recovery process.
Miles’ sister Chloe hopes the entire situation will act as a wake-up call for youth about the consequences of their actions, and to consider those consequences before making any decision that could potentially be dangerous.
“Their decisions matter and making minor changes in your behavior can mean the difference between life and death,” she said. “I don’t think young people always realize that.”
Police were unable to comment any further on the charges, but the accused was released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court on Apr. 21.