2-year-old boy killed in evening tragedy

Last updated: December 19. 2013 7:57AM - 2753 Views
Amanda Moss Staff Writer

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The operator of the motorcycle that struck and killed a 2-year-old Rockingham boy on Dec. 7 was cited for minor traffic violations.

According to public court records available at the Richmond County Judicial Center, Brandon Terrell Deese, 26, of Rockingham, has been cited for operating a motorcycle without a motorcycle endorsement, operating a vehicle with no insurance and driving a motor vehicle without proper registration.

The citations were filed with traffic court on Wednesday, authorities said.

At approximately 5:45 p.m. Dec. 7, police said Deese was westbound on Midway Road and struck young Matthew “Wyatt” Lohman, who was attempting to cross the road with his father and 5-year-old brother from his family’s home to Midway Baptist Church. The family was on its way to the church to enjoy a Christmas dinner.

Wyatt was sandwiched in between his father, Andrew Lohman, and his 5-year-old brother as they crossed Midway Road near Shaw Street. The mother was still on the porch with the couple’s 2-month-old son getting ready to approach the road crossing.

Reach at his home, Deese declined to comment on the situation. He referred The Daily Journal to his attorney, Todd G. Scott of the Rockingham firm of Prelipp & Scott.

The Lohman family, which relocated to Richmond County from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., approximately three months ago, did not have insurance but contributions helped to cover the funeral expenses.

Wyatt left behind his mother and father, Andrew Lohman and Kristian Arnett, along with brothers Andrew Lohman Jr., Timothy Arnett and Melody Lohman, as well as grandparents James and Ellen Lohman. Wyatt’s funeral was held Dec. 12 at Midway Baptist Church.

A Rockingham Police Department news release states that Deese was headed westbound, or downhill, on Midway Road — but how fast is yet unknown to the public.

At that time of day on Dec. 7, the sun had set nearly 50 minutes earlier. It was dark. There is little street lighting available. The road might have still been wet from early Saturday morning rain. It’s not yet known if speed, alcohol, a possible medical issue or other factors might have contributed to the incident. It’s not known if the headlight on the motorcycle was in working condition.

While details are scarce about what caused the collision, Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly said his officers are “using all resources we have available” to determine what happened. Kelly promised to release his officers’ findings “as soon as possible.”

Editor Kevin Spradlin contributed to this story.

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