The family of a motorcyclist hit by a wanted felon during last Friday’s collision thanked local agencies and offered thoughts on forthcoming charges.
Becky and Scott Huskins are the parents of Andrew “Blake” Huskins, the motorcyclist injured in a hit-and-run incident by 32-year-old Dustin Coyt Lawing of Marion.
“We were sitting here,” said Scott Huskins, “and no one had told us yet that he was in a wreck. We didn’t know anything.”
At approximately 5:08 p.m. on March 2, emergency units and law enforcement were dispatched to a motor vehicle collision between a motorcycle and a 2002 Chevrolet pickup truck on Sugar Hill Road.
Blake, a volunteer of the Dysartsville Fire Department and member of the Ghost Riders of McDowell County motorcycle group, described what happened leading up to the collision.
“I’d just gotten off work, had to go to the bank to get some paperwork. I was actually going back towards Walmart, I was coming up the dip by the doctor’s office, and I had seen a truck coming up on the other side of the road, come across all the lanes,” said Blake Huskins. “I knew I was gonna wreck, he was coming right towards me, so I grabbed by breaks and try to slide around him. I think he overcorrected right into my bike, and the last thing I remember is squeezing my breaks and seeing red. I woke up face down on the road.”
According to Huskins, he does not remember making contact with the truck or being launched from his vehicle.
At the time of the wreck, it was reported that the driver of the pickup truck, 32-year-old Dustin Coyt Lawing of Marion, had fled the scene, leading to a pursuit by Marion Police officers and McDowell County Sheriff’s deputies.
A further search of the vehicle, which was subsequently determined to be stolen from Lytle Mountain Road, uncovered multiple narcotics and a firearm.
Blake was transported to Mission Trauma Center in Asheville and was released over the weekend. Injuries sustained include a severed big toe on the right foot – which has since been reattached – , cuts, abrasions and a puncture wound to the leg.
“We took the X-Rays and we were amazed that I didn’t have any broken bones,” said Blake, who also wished to thank: Michelle Revis, McDowell County Detective Nathan Mace, Kevin Feinberg, Marion Fire Department, McDowell Rescue Squad, McDowell EMS, Marion P.D. and the McDowell Sheriff’s Office.
“I can’t believe how many prominent people, local people, were out there taking care of him while I didn’t know it had happened,” said Becky. “And we just wanted to give thanks – that’s what this is really all about.”
Lawing, as it was later revealed, had been on the run from the Sheriff’s Office for several weeks after an initial arrest on Jan. 26 led to seven outstanding warrants that had not been previously served, including charges for trafficking heroin or opium, conspiracy to sell and deliver a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell or deliver controlled substances and possession of a firearm by a felon.
One of the bigger concerns addressed by the family was in regards to Lawing’s criminal background, which includes at least three counts of driving while impaired since 2007, speeding, reckless driving, larceny, breaking and entering and hit-and-run, consistent with latest charges by local authorities.
“I don’t see why he hasn’t been convicted as a habitual felon,” said Scott. “What I want to stress is that we need to keep people like this off the road.”
“He was going to leave the scene and leave my son laying there,” said Becky.
The family added, Ellen Pitt, the WNC area director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was notified following Lawing’s arrest. Pending a toxicology report – estimated with a maximum of 90 days – further action may be pursued to amplify Lawing’s charges.
Lawing’s first appearance in McDowell County District Court is scheduled for March 23 on Sheriff’s Office charges. A later date for recent charges by Marion P.D. is scheduled for May 15.