Salisbury woman killed in wreck remembered as a 'beautiful person'

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 4, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
GOLD HILL – Sarah Lynn McCoy ventured out into the rain Sunday evening to switch out the message on the sign outside of First Baptist Church of Gold Hill.
“I didn’t think that was a great idea, but Sarah wasn’t really afraid of anything,” David Flowe said Monday.
Pastor Toney Parsons said McCoy wanted to be sure the sign was fixed before she left.
“If there was something to be done, she stayed until the very last minute to make sure that it was all right,” he said.
McCoy, 28, was killed in a wreck Sunday on her way home.
She was traveling west on Old Beatty Ford Road near Zion Church Road when she veered left across the road and her Mini Cooper overturned onto the passenger side.
Authorities said McCoy, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was declared dead at the scene.
Parsons said McCoy typically takes a different route home from church, but there was a tree blocking the roadway Sunday, so she went a different way.
He called the scene of the accident a “pretty dangerous place.”
“It’s down at the bottom of a hill and it goes into a turn,” he said. “There have been quite a few wrecks there.”
Parsons said McCoy will be greatly missed.
“She was soft spoken, but she had a charisma that when you were around her you just felt at peace,” he said. “She’s the type that comes along just once in a lifetime.”
Flowe said his son, Lonnie, had been dating McCoy for about a year-and-a-half.
The couple met during U.S. Navy training exercises in Greensboro.
“My son needed some patches sewn onto his uniform so he asked her for help,” Flowe said. “I guess they just hit it off.”
Parsons said McCoy was from the small town of Walnut Cove, but ended up moving to Salisbury after she began dating Lonnie.
McCoy was deployed in Iraq for a year before the couple met.
“She was just a great person who served her country honorably,” Flowe said. “My son loved her to death.”
Flowe said he was hoping to hear news of an engagement when Lonnie woke him up in the middle of the night Sunday.
Instead, he was there to tell the family the terrible news.
“I just couldn’t believe it, we were all stunned, ” he said. “My son isn’t an emotional person so I rarely see him cry, but he was torn up.”
Parsons said McCoy, who had been attending First Baptist for about a year, decided to be saved not long after she started going to the church.
The Bible she received the day she was baptized was found at the scene of the accident.
McCoy helped out during children’s church, working with children ages 3 to 7 years old. She also volunteered during vacation Bible school and almost every other church function.
“Everybody at the church just loved her,” Parsons said. “She fit in like she had been there forever.
“She is one of those people who does things and doesn’t expect any type of recognition.”
Flowe called McCoy a beautiful person.
“She would do anything for our church, anything for our Lord,” he said. “She was just awesome.’
When McCoy wasn’t at church she was working as a nursing assistant at Bayada Home Health Care, Flowe said.
In her spare time, she enjoyed cooking.
“I have no idea where she learned to cook,” Flowe said. “But she made the best apple pie I’ve ever had.”
McCoy routinely traveled to Burlington following church on Sunday to visit her mother.”She didn’t miss church, she was faithful to it,” Parsons said. “Every Sunday she would walk out the door at church and hug me ….”
Parsons said McCoy had barely escaped death during her time in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded near her.
She was still feeling the physical effects of that tour of duty.
McCoy had recently undergone knee surgery and returned to church on crutches without mentioning a word of it to Parsons. She knew he was busy and didn’t want to bother him.
“I said ‘Sarah, I’ve always got time for you,'” he said.
Parsons said he has no doubt McCoy is in a better place now.
“I don’t understand why it happened, but she probably completed the task God had in store for her,” he said. “I hope this tragedy makes folks realize just how precious life is so they’ll stop taking people for granted because they are here one minute and gone the next.”
McCoy’s funeral is expected to be held in Burlington, Parsons said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.