Father Watches His Te.en D.aughter D.ie, Gets Ar.rested After Taking Matters Into His Own Hands

After his teenage daughter di.ed in a car crash, Shannon Hamilton, the teen’s father, decided to do something to help save lives.


The sixteen-year-old girl named Cecily Mcree Hamilton di.ed in the car while she was with her boyfriend driving along a bridge in dan.gerous Gainesville, Georgia. Because the gua.rdrail on the brid.ge was so low, the teen’s car flew off the bri.dge and cras.hed below resulting in Cecily’s tra.gic de.ath.

“I gave her a kiss and told her I loved her. Hugged her freezing body and said goodbye,” the distr.aught fat.her told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Shannon Hamilton was there when pol.ice pu.lled his daughter’s crashed vehicle out of the freezing river. Her body was fail.ing her because she was submerged in water for so long and was deprived of oxygen to her brain.

Hamilton believes that his d aughter and her boyfriend would not have di.ed if the gua.rdrail on the bridge had simply been hig.her than it was. So, he set out to change the world by buil.ding a larger guardr.ail along the bridge in his Georgia town.


Although local officials agreed that the gua.rdrail on the bridge was dan.gerously low, which contributed to the teens’ de.aths, they took forever to get the new rail built.

Instead, their plans to increase the size of the gu.ardrail got stuck in an approval process that was taking forever, so Hamilton took it upon himself to make change where he needed to see change happen.

“Every day that goes by is another day that we’re ris.king a life that goes into that cre.ek,” he said.

Hamilton drove his own excavator to the bridge to get to work fixing the guardrail. Because the local government fa.iled to do so quickly enough, he wanted to save lives and prevent other teenagers and people from falling to their deaths in the river below the bridge.


Hamilton planned to bui.ld a berm, which would serve as a temporary ledge to protect cars from falling off the bridge while the government officials got their work in order to increase the size of the guard.rail and protect future people from the tragedy that befell the Hamiltons and Cecily’s boyfriend’s family.

However, local pol.ice arrived at the bridge to stop Hamilton from erecting the berm. They arr.ested the distra.ught father in front of his son for int.erfering in government property.

“They had to do it,” he said. “They had no choice.”

Hamilton posted bail and then received a lot of support from the local community because he was trying to do something that would make everyone who cros.sed the bridge safer.

Although Shannon Hamilton now has a mark on his permanent record for viol.ating the city’s laws, he believes he did the right thing in order to protect as many people as possible.

He also began speaking at his daughter’s former high school to promote safe driving and to help prevent future traffic de.aths.]

“Tomorrow’s never promised,” he said. “It’s the way I’m grieving, and I’m staying positive to get through the days.”


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