Community supports family hit twice by tragedy

Boy suffers brain trauma after being hit by car; house burns down while family is at hospital.
MCT Regional News
Apr 9, 2014

Friends, neighbors and strangers are doing what they can to support a family hit twice by tragedy last week in Reily Twp. The Talawanda School District has organized the Lakin Family Fundraiser to help 10-year-old Adam Lakin and his family.

A car hit 10-year-old Adam Lakin while he was riding his bike April 3 on Sample Road. The car, driven by Joan Becker, 57, of Evansville, Ind., hit Lakin around 8:25 p.m., according to Sgt. Monte Mayer of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

“She swerved in attempt to avoid the bicycle, but did strike the child,” Mayer said.

While the family was at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, their house caught fire early Friday morning, according to the Reily Twp. Fire Department.

Reily Twp. Fire Chief John Quillen said the house is a total loss with damage estimated at $75,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he said.

Lakin remains at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in fair condition. Lakin’s grandmother, Sheila Bolser, told the Journal-News that Lakin suffered “some brain trauma.”

“Everyone was devastated,” said Holli Morrish, director of communications for Talawanda School District, where Lakin is a fourth-grader. “We were just so sad for the Lakin family and immediately started talking about what can we do to provide support for them.”

In less than 24 hours, friends and strangers had donated six bags of clothing and household items to the family, according to Morrish. They dropped off the items at Marshall Elementary, where Lakin attends. One of his older brothers is a fifth grader at the school and a second older brother attends Talawanda Middle School.

Marshall Elementary principal Chad Hinton and Talawanda School District social worker Alison Bridge have helped coordinate donations for the family. Morrish said Hinton and Bridge have been in contact with the family to gauge what their needs are.

“Adam’s aunt informed us that the family is looking into a storage facility so they can begin to receive and collect those donations,” said Moorish.

She said she’s not surprised that so many people in Reily Twp. and the surrounding communities have wanted to help the Lakin family.

“The Talawanda community is very generous,” Morrish said. “In the past when we’ve had other tragedies the response has been overwhelmingly awesome to support their fellow community members.”

Family friend Thomas Ghent lives less than a block from where the accident happened. He said his children were playing basketball with Lakin just before the accident.

“He left here to go home. I watched him all the way home. As soon as I turned my back he got hit,” said Ghent. “We were devastated.”

Strangers have stopped by his house and dropped off two bags of clothes, a TV and a mattress for the family, Ghent said.

“The outpouring of support is really touching,” he said.

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By Lot Tan - Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio)

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