Son sues af­ter smug­gler kills par­ents in hor­ror road smash

Driver died at sea be­fore case was heard in court

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Janet Boyle

Agriev­ing son wants jus­tice af­ter a puppy smug­gler killed his par­ents in a road crash. Gen­naro Cop­po­laro’s el­derly par­ents Maria and Gio­vanni, were hit head on by a car driven by Sandy Hamil­ton in 2015. Hamil­ton was try­ing to over­take a lorry when he crashed into the car in Ne­w­house, La­nark­shire. He had no in­surance. Gio­vanni, 85, died in hos­pi­tal and Maria, 83, passed away two weeks later. Gen­naro, who was driv­ing the fam­ily car at the time, sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries. Gen­naro, from Sur­rey, is now su­ing Hamil­ton’s es­tate and the Mo­tor In­surance Bureau in an ac­tion raised at the Court of Ses­sion. The MIB is an um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion paid for by in­surance com­pa­nies, which com­pen­sates vic­tims of unin­sured drivers. Hamil­ton, 35, from Larkhall, South La­nark­shire, was due to stand trial

‘ Los­ing my par­ents caused me enor­mous dis­tress

for dan­ger­ous driv­ing but he and his cousin Kevin McKin­lay, 46, drowned in a speed­boat ac­ci­dent off the Gal­loway coast last year. He had de­nied the charge at a court ap­pear­ance and another of driv­ing with­out in­surance. He and McKin­lay were sus­pected of in­volve­ment in the il­le­gal puppy trade, bring­ing thou­sands of de­signer pup­pies from Ire­land to Scot­land. IT boss Gen­naro, 57, re­vealed he was off work for nine months as he strug­gled to cope. “Los­ing my par­ents in such a dread­ful way has caused me enor­mous dis­tress,” he said. An in­quest heard Hamil­ton was re­spon­si­ble for the cou­ple’s deaths. A report by the Procu­ra­tor Fis­cal said: “The stan­dard of driv­ing demon­strated by the ac­cused has fallen well be­low the stan­dard ex­pected of a com­pe­tent driver.” A MIB spokes­woman said: “Gen­er­ally, if a mem­ber of the pub­lic is in­volved in a col­li­sion with an unin­sured or ‘hit and run’ driver then they are en­ti­tled to make a claim to MIB. “It’s a le­gal for­mal­ity for a claimant to start court pro­ceed­ings.”

Gio­vanni and Maria Cop­po­laro who died

Gen­naro Cop­po­laro

Sandy Hamil­ton

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