Local News

Church, neighbors praying for boy injured by falling tombstone

Posted March 13, 2013

— A Littleton community was joined in prayer this week, sending well wishes for the recovery of a 7-year-old boy crushed by a falling grave marker.

The Hawkins family was visiting the cemetery at Tabor United Methodist Church Sunday, making sketches of the stones when Will wandered away from his parents and older sister.

From her home across the street, Diane Miller spotted Will Hawkins, running around in an Indiana Jones hat. "All of a sudden I heard this thump," she said. "The thump was the most awful thing you've ever heard."

church steeple Child hurt by falling grave marker

A stone obelisk, in place since 1918, had toppled on the boy.

Miller saw Will's father dash to his side. His mother and sister jumped in the car. "The father swooped down and picked up the boy, and when he stood up that father was covered in blood from his shoulder to his feet," Miller said.

An ambulance met the family along the way and rushed Will to Halifax Regional Medical Center. He's undergone several surgeries this week but was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.

"Immediately I looked to the heavens and I said, 'God, whatever it is, please restore this child,'" Miller said.

Her prayers are being echoed inside Tabor United Methodist, where the Hawkins family was well known. "We're really pulling for him, and we hope he'll be alright," said church member Jimmy Liles. 


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  • Grand Union Mar 14, 2013

    "so sad, but did this old stone just happen to fall by itself ?"

    probably not but this is not exactly an uncommon event....I remember as a kid playing in the churchyard and being warned not to touch the stones as could fall and crush you. Parents need to watch out for their kids but the Church also has a responsibility to keep the place safe as well. If stones are unstable they need to be fixed or laid down.

  • Sweet summertime Mar 14, 2013

    Hope this little guy gets well soon.

  • sophiesdad Mar 13, 2013

    so sad, but did this old stone just happen to fall by itself ?

  • mdwrfw Mar 13, 2013

    This story seems to imply the parents were not watching the child. This is not true and I wish WRAL had done a better job in checking the facts.It is a caution to all of us and a reminder of how quickly a child can be hurt. This lovely family and wonderful little boy need our prayers and compassion.

  • Scubagirl Mar 13, 2013

    Hope the child recovers BUT this just recently happened to another child.....PARENTS PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!!!! Tombstones are NOT to e climbed upon, regardless of the reason. Such a sad story.

  • nic6977 Mar 13, 2013

    Praying ♥

  • wizakid Mar 13, 2013

    What an awful tragedy. We join them in their prayers!