The mother of a motorcyclist allegedly killed by a servicewoman has said his death has left his family “heartbroken”, as the US Air Force attempts to assert jurisdiction in the suspect’s prosecution.
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, on August 26.
Airman first class Mikayla Hayes, 23, who is based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, is charged with causing Mr Day’s death by careless driving.
The incident happened in the constituency of Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Speaking about the death of Mr Day, his mother Trudi Beston told the PA news agency: “We would like to pay tribute to Matthew for being in our lives through good and bad times.
“Sadly he was taken from us too soon through no fault of his own.
“We thought we would still have many more years together.
“He leaves a heartbroken mother, sister and stepfather.
“He also tragically leaves behind a loving partner and a two-year-old daughter he adored. His daughter is missing him terribly.
“She now has to grow up without her daddy 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.”
Over £1,000 has been raised to cover Mr Day’s funeral costs after a crowdfunding page was set up by one of his friends to “alleviate some of the stress the family are facing now”.
During a hearing a Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 31, prosecutor Caroline Gardner said the US Air Force (USAF) had served the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with a certificate under the 1952 Visiting Forces Act, which asserts jurisdiction.
It is understood that, if granted, Hayes could face a US military court.
But the CPS will argue that she was not on duty or acting in the course of her duty at the time of the incident, which is said to have taken place as she was driving home from the base.
Major Keavy Rake, the USAF chief of public affairs at RAF Lakenheath, previously said the base was aware of the incident and would “remain in full co-operation with the 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 granted bail with conditions of residence at her home in Downham Market and attendance at King’s Lynn police station every Saturday.
Hayes’ passport is to be retained by the USAF, she is not allowed to apply for any 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