MONROE -- The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Monday it is continuing the investigation into Saturdays death of a Union County man who was struck by a pick-up truck while mowing the lawn in front ot the church where his wife is pastor.
Don Lowery, 73, was killed when he was hit by the truck, driven by a Lancaster man, about 30 feet off N.C. 200. The fatality happened in front of Holy Band of Inspiration Church, and authorities say Lowery was doing landscaping at the church, in advance of a yard sale scheduled later.
The victims wife, Kay, was standing nearby and saw the incident.
The truck driver, identified by the N.C. Highway Patrol as Ronald Sutton, 37, was charged with death by motor vehicle caused by reckless driving, and with driving with a suspended license. Both are misdemeanors.
The investigation is not completed, Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Leach said Monday. Leach did not want to speculate on what might change that situation, and troopers declined to discuss why Sutton had lost his license in South Carolina.
A spokeswoman at the District Attorneys office in Monroe said it had not received a final report from the Highway Patrol.
Meanwhile, a makeshift memorial of flowers marked the site Monday where Don Lowery was struck Saturday morning.
His daughter, Bebe Lowery, told WCNC-TV, the Observers news partner, that Sutton apparently lost control of his vehicle as he approached the church property on N.C. 200, south of Monroe.
My mom said the truck lost control and was weaving all over the road, Lowery told WCNC. And the next thing you know, he hit my dad.
Trooper Dexter Allman, who investigated the incident, said it appeared as if the driver might have been distracted.
Lowery told WCNC she thinks more serious charges should be filed against Sutton.
You took someones life, and for that just to be a misdemeanor? Thats not enough, she said.
Meanwhile, funeral services were announced Monday for Don Lowery, a grandfather and great-grandfather. They are scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at New Town Road Community Church, 7513 Broomes Old Mill Road, in Waxhaw.