MONROE, N.C. -- The husband of a Monroe church pastor is dead after a car swerved off the road and hit him as he trimmed grass in front of his wife’s church.
Don Lowery, 73, died while trimming the lawn Saturday morning in front of Holy Band of Inspiration church on Lancaster Highway in Monroe.
"My mom just said the truck lost control and he was weaving all over the road,” said Bebe Lowery, his daughter. “And next thing you know, he hit my dad."
Ronald Sutton, 37, of Lancaster, is charged with death by motor vehicle caused by reckless driving, and driving with a suspended license.
Troopers investigating the accident couldn’t say why Sutton’s license was suspended in South Carolina because of privacy laws.
Trooper Dexter Altman said he doesn’t believe Sutton was speeding or had been drinking. He believes it’s just a terrible case of distracted driving.
Lowery’s daughter is angry that Sutton is getting away with a slap on the wrist.
"You took someone's life and for that just to be a misdemeanor-- it's not enough," said Lowery. "He woke up today, my father didn't."
Don Lowery was someone who was always willing to help out, said his daughter. He built his own house, and renovated an old chicken coop to be his wife’s church.
He would mow the lawn at the church as a labor of love each Saturday, while also going to his grandson’s football games and finding time to spend with his 3-year-old great-grandson.
“He had the ability to do every type of work, and that's what made him so great,” said Bishop Harry Brown, of the Holy Band of Inspiration churches. “He loved to do every kind of work.”
Brown said he just talked to Lowery about an hour before he died. “He was doing what he loved to do -- that landscaping,” he said.
Bebe Lowery wants more punishment for the man who killed her father, even though troopers don’t believe there will be any more charges.
"I would like to see the charges at least be tougher charges,” said Lowery. “Maybe other people will get the message that driving without a license… innocent people are getting hurt and killed."
Lowery's funeral is set for Wednesday at noon at the New Town Road Community Church at 7513 Broomes Old Mill Road in Waxhaw. Lowery's family will receive visitors an hour before the service.