independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Irishman killed in San Francisco hit and run

Paul Lambert who died following a hit and run in San Francisco on Wednesday
Paul Lambert who died following a hit and run in San Francisco on Wednesday

AN Irishman has been killed in a hit-and-run in the United States – months after his cousin died in a similar way in New York.

Paul Lambert (35), originally from the Courtney Hill area of Newry, Co Armagh, was killed during the early hours of Wednesday morning in San Francisco.

A suspect who tried to flee the scene has been arrested and is in custody.

Mr Lambert is a first cousin of Kevin Bell, a 26-year-old Irish dancer who died in a hit-and-run last June.

After Mr Bell's death a fund was set up to help other Irish families repatriate the remains of loved ones from abroad.

Now they face having to use the fund to bring home another member of their own family.

Mr Lambert was a relation of Maire Rankin, the pensioner murdered in the notorious Newry crucifix killing of Christmas 2008.

His parents Noelle and Mickey and sister Claire are said to be devastated.

Mr Lambert's uncle Colin Bell – who was Kevin's father – said they were struggling to come to terms with another tragedy.

"It's just cruel – it's very hard on his poor mother and father and sister," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "It brings it all back for me, it is very tough.

"When Kevin died we set up the repatriation fund and we've taken home 14 people. Paul will be the 15th. It is just so sad."

Mr Lambert worked for eight years as a linguist for KPMG before moving to San Francisco two years ago.

He had been working with Kiva, a charity which helps developing countries.

"Paul was dedicating his life to helping others," added Mr Bell.

"He was just a gentleman."

The collision was reported before 1am on Wednesday morning, local time, near Van Ness and Pacific avenues in San Francisco.

Mr Lambert was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver began to walk away from the crash before being caught by police.

Mr Bell added: "Paul was crossing the road and just as he reached the middle part a car came flying around the corner and hit him," he added.

"The driver tried to run away but was caught."

He has been named as 27-year-old Mageb Hussain and has been detained on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and on a misdemeanor warrant.

Last night Mr Lambert's family was making arrangements to bring his remains back to Newry.

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