Hamilton

11-year-old boy hit by pick-up truck on Mountain has died

Jude Strickland, the 11-year-old boy who was in critical condition after being struck by a Dodge RAM pick-up truck on the Mountain, died of his injuries on Thursday.

Charges against driver upgraded to dangerous driving causing death

A dark glove covered in snow rested on the wet road where 11-year-old Jude Strickland was struck by a vehicle on the Mountain. He died shortly after midnight on Thursday. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Jude Strickland, the 11-year-old boy who was in critical condition after being struck by a Dodge RAM pick-up truck on the Mountain, died of his injuries on Thursday.

"This is the most heart breaking thing we have ever experienced," his father, Jamie Strickland, wrote on Facebook.

"Just this past Tuesday morning we were shoveling snow together before school, and now he is gone."

The family is also raising funds after an outpouring of community support and condolences.

The West Highland Church, where Strickland is an associate pastor, will be discussing funeral arrangements with the family. 

Rev. John Mahaffey, the lead pastor at the church, describes Jamie as his "right-hand man."

Jude was 'wonderful' child

The Stricklands have four boys, Jude was their second. All of them were close, Mahaffey said.

He added Jamie and Vanessa Strickland, Jude's mother, broke the tragic news to the boys this morning and were at a funeral home making arrangements.

Mahaffey said Jude was a "wonderful child" and a "strong believer in Jesus." He excelled at memorizing bible passages and his participation in online videos showed his "boyish nature."

Jude's father also wrote about his devotion.

"We are finding solace in the fact that Jude is now with Jesus, and has entered into the joy of his Master. One day, by faith, we will … be with him again. This is the hope our faith in Christ gives us to journey through this immense sorrow."

Jude also had many friends in the children's ministries, Mahaffey said, causing deep mourning throughout the community.

Templemead School was the site of Hamilton's first COVID-19 case with ties to the local school system. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Jude was a student at Templemead Elementary School, part of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

The flag will be lowered to show respect to the family.

Alex Johnstone and Manny Figueiredo, the chair and director of board, said in a joint statement they were "deeply saddened" to hear about Jude's death.

"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," read their statement.

"We will continue to support Templemead students, staff and families in this difficult time. We are a caring community that can help, even as our hearts are broken."

Jude and brothers were walking home from school

The collision took place on Tuesday afternoon near Royalvista Drive, a side street off Upper Gage between Stone Church and Rymal road.

It was a wet, brisk and snowy afternoon. Mahaffey said Jude and two of his younger brothers were walking home from school. 

"Jude ran ahead of them — and as he was crossing, that's when the truck hit him."

Police say the 28-year-old Hamilton man driving the Dodge RAM pick-up truck failed to stop for both the traffic light and the crossing guard.

Paramedics said Jude suffered "multiple traumas" and resuscitative efforts were ongoing as he was transported to hospital.

On Wednesday morning, Jude was undergoing tests to "give doctors a better understanding of how best to proceed," but died roughly 12 hours later, just after midnight.

'Very emotional' driver in court next week

Asgar Manek, the lawyer who was representing the driver as of Thursday morning, said the situation is "very sad" and  his client was "very emotional" at the police station.

Manek also said the driver will be switching lawyers moving forward.

The 28-year-old was originally charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle but the charges have been upgraded to dangerous driving causing death. 

He will appear at the John Sopinka Court House next Thursday.

With files from Dan Taekema

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