Funeral arrangements set for man struck, killed by truck

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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MONROE, N.C. —

Funeral arrangements have been set for a great-grandfather killed while taking care of the lawn at his church Saturday morning.

There's a small memorial of flowers at the side of Lancaster Highway in Monroe at the spot where 73-year-old Don Lowery was hit and killed.

The victim's wife, who is the pastor of that church, spoke to Eyewitness News about what it was like to witness the deadly accident.

"When I went to him, to see him lying there, face down, with his clothes torn off of him, it was just horrible," said Kay Lowery, the pastor of the Holy Band of Inspiration church.

Kay Lowery didn't preach on Sunday, but she was still at the church, setting up the flower memorial for her husband of 50 years.

"There's a hurt in my heart. There's an emptiness. There's loneliness to know that he's gone," she said.

Troopers said Ronald Sutton of Lancaster, S.C., was speeding when he swerved off the roadway and killed Don Lowery.

Don Lowery was using a weed whacker to trim the grass about 15 feet from the shoulder. He was preparing for a church yard sale. His wife was just a few feet away and she saw the accident happen.

"For me to see what happened, I can't get it out of my mind. It just plays over and over again," she said.

Sutton's charged with two misdemeanors: death by motor vehicle and driving without a license.

Kay Lowery said he needs to face tougher penalties because she saw him speeding and swerving.

"We could hear the weed eater going, hear it going, hear it going. And then all of a sudden here comes this truck that has lost control, I mean it was going. It was going so fast, going from side to side," she recalled.

Kay Lowery said she's disappointed that Sutton isn't facing more serious charges, and she plans on calling the district attorney's office this week.

"If you do the wrong thing and somebody gets hurt or somebody gets killed, then I think you have to pay for it," she said.

Troopers told Eyewitness News it's still an active investigation. They said they'd like have another interview with Sutton, who spent most of Saturday afternoon at the hospital being treated for minor injuries.

Troopers are also still processing his pickup truck.

Troopers said Sutton wasn't drunk or on drugs, and he wasn't on his cellphone, but they confirm he was speeding and was possibly distracted.

"I miss him coming in and out of the house. I miss his voice. I miss what he could do around the house," Kay Lowery said.

Family said the toughest thing so far is that Don Lowery's 3-year-old great-grandson, Kendrick, keeps asking what happened.

"He keeps asking me where Paw-Paw is, and what am I supposed to tell him?" said Lauren Lowery. "I don't have those kinds of words for a 3-year-old right now."

Eyewitness News called and e-mailed the Union County District Attorney on Sunday, but the offices were closed.

Phone messages for Sutton, and his front-seat passenger, girlfriend Tonya Mills, haven't been returned.

Don Lowery's funeral will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at the New Town Road Community Church in Waxhaw.