2-year-old boy killed walking to Christmas dinner at church

by: Greg Suskin Updated:

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ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Pastor Jimmy Williams told Channel 9 he pulled up at his Rockingham church Saturday night to a horrible scene in the road.

He got out of his car and heard the sound of a screaming father.

"He was yelling, 'He hit my child. He hit my child,' so I immediately called 911," Williams said.

Wyatt Lohman, 2, was walking across Midway Road with his father and older brother when a motorcycle struck and killed him.

Neighbors said the motorcycle ended up several hundred feet down the road.

The driver, Brandon Deese, was injured, but did speak to police after the crash.

Channel 9 asked Rockingham police for details on how the crash happened, how fast the motorcycle was going, and whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Police said they can't answer those questions until the traffic team's investigation is finished.

The family lives directly across the Midway Baptist Church, and Williams said they walked over every Sunday morning and night.

"They never missed a Sunday," Williams said.

They family had lived there for three months, after moving from Florida less than a year ago.

On Tuesday, Rockingham police hope to present their case to the district attorney to determine if charges will be filed.

Cheryl Witwer stopped to place a wreath she made herself outside the church.

"He was on his way to church. It kind of seems unfair in a way," she said.

Witwer didn't know the family, but was heartbroken as word spread about the child's death.

"This has by far got to be one of the most horrific things to ever have to endure," she said.

Lisa Hudson lives across from the church. She thought of the boy's mother.

"It breaks my heart because I couldn't imagine what she's going through. I know if it was me I'd probably lose my mind," Hudson said.

The Lohman family has three other young children, ages 5, 1, and 2 months.

Church members are trying to collect clothes, gift cards and pay for Lohman's funeral.

"My goal is to make sure the funeral, the funeral costs and all that is taken care of," Williams said. "They just need love right now."

Witwer said thinking of her eight grandchildren encourages her to do anything possible to help the family.

"Only the good Lord above can bring them the comfort that they need right now," she said.

Anyone who would like help the Lohman family is urged to call Williams at 910-410-9072.

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