Community mourns loss of child
Three-year old boy is struck and killed last Thursday outside Atmore daycare center
November 7, 2019
Cadena L. Curtis of Atmore experienced a mother's worst nightmare last Thursday night when her 3-year old son was struck by a vehicle and killed outside an Atmore daycare center and learned her 15-year old daughter was the one driving the car.
The Atmore Police Department began receiving multiple 911 calls at 5:17 p.m. Oct. 31 in reference to a child being struck by a vehicle outside Lil Angels Daycare at 1109 Fillmore Drive. When officers arrived they found 3-year old Master Rickey Rydell 'Boobie' Lyons III lying in the driveway suffering from severe injuries. When paramedics arrived, the young child was pronounced dead.
Curtis was at work in Pensacola when she got the first call to 'come to the daycare center now'!
"I asked what was going on and they told me my son had been hit by a car," she said.
She said she prayed the whole way back to Atmore not knowing what was going on but arrived to find her son had been killed.
"It's the most trying time of my life," Curtis said Tuesday afternoon. "I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm surviving on prayer. Our lives have been turned upside down."
"As a family, we're trying to learn how to cope and remember how much love Boobie brought to us," she said. "The sadness is there, but he brought us so much joy. That's what we are holding on to."
She said she's had trouble sleeping since last Thursday, but tells herself to get up and put her feet on the floor and be an example of strength as a young mother who just lost a child.
"God allows tough situations for his toughest people," she said. "I'm hanging on my faith. I can't change what happened."
She described her son as a loving child, who always loved to smile and always loved to talk. He played with his Ninja Turtles and enjoyed PAW Patrol. But he always loved Superman and acted as if he had supernatural powers.
"He would help me carry things saying 'Superman has this'," she said. "He loved to sing and dance."
She said he loved to sing 'Old Town Road' even though he didn't know the words and would also sing 'Brown Skin Girl', and not completely knowing the words.
"He always had a smile on his face and made other people smile," she said. "He loved playing outside and loved his family. He was an all-around joy."
The funeral for Master Lyons III will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at Greater Mount Triumph Baptist Church, located at 157 Carver Ave., in Atmore with the Rev. Willie Hawthorne and the Rev. Amos Barnes Jr., officiating. Burial will be held at Fairview Cemetery with Turner Funeral Chapel directing.
He is survived by his mother, Cadena L. Curtis of Atmore; his father, Rickey R. Lyons of Atmore; two sisters, Jazarea of Atmore and London of Flomaton; four brothers, Malachi, Chad, Kadenx and Aubrey of Atmore; grandmother Carmen Wooden of Racine, WI.; grandparents Rickey and Tammy Lyons of Brewton; great grandparents, Ulysses and Manerva Wooden, Mildred Hill and Willie Curtis of Racine, WI.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said it was a tragic situation and that his department and the Department of Human Resources are still investigating what happened.
Although the incident happened on Halloween night, Brooks said it had nothing to do with Halloween or trick-or-treating.
"It's just a tragic situation," Brooks said. "That's all you can say."
According to a press release from the Atmore Police Department, witnesses said a female was seen exiting the daycare and walking toward a vehicle. Witnesses said two small children followed behind her and when the vehicle began moving, one of the children was struck. The other child was not injured.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Master Lyons' 15-year old sister.