‘He is someone else’s answered prayers’: Father killed by suspected drunk driver honored for organ donation

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) -- A crowd of family and friends gathered Friday to honor the life of 32-year-old Daniel Luther outside Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

After a prayer, dozens watched as the "Donate Life" flag was lifted at the hospital.

“There was no reasoning, there was no hard thinking about it, I knew exactly what he wanted and this would be it,” Ashley Luther said about her husband’s organ donation.

Daniel Luther had to be airlifted to the hospital on Tuesday after troopers say he was struck head-on by a suspected drunk driver in Trinity.

Troopers say 21-year-old James Michael Lovett Jr. was involved in two other hit-and-run crashes before attempting to illegally pass a pickup truck. Lovett Jr. then struck a Luther’s Jeep SUV on Kennedy Road.

The 21-year-old was charged with driving while impaired, two counts of hit-and-run property damage, reckless driving, two counts of improper passing and having an expired tag.

Family members didn’t want to talk about the crash Friday and instead shared their memories of Luther.

“He’s the best mandolin player I’ve ever seen, loves his bluegrass. Loves God, loves his family,” his wife said, holding the couple’s 6-month-old baby, Silas. “[Silas] won’t remember this, but we’ve got stories to tell him about his dad.”

The couple married six years ago. Ashley Luther said her husband worked hard in investment accounting to support their family. They both served as youth group leaders at the same church where Luther taught Sunday school.

“He was my best friend. And I got to marry him and I got to experience true love and what more could you ask for? I’m gonna miss him a ton,” she said.

Family members say Luther always wanted to help others and his organ donation was no different.

“He is someone else’s answered prayers. Today, families in some waiting rooms just like us here, they’re going to get great news,” said Luther’s brother, Jeremy Ingold. “God is still in business, and somebody’s prayers, many people’s prayers were answered. And it’s because of him and his choice to be that, and that just shows what he’s always been, a giving loving caring person.”

A fundraiser has been started for the family to help with medical expenses.

Troopers say other charges are pending against Lovett Jr.

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