DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Parents are not made to bury their children. And yet, that is the heartbreaking task that awaits Don and Rosie Benton of Dallas. Their 55-year-old son David was struck and killed early Sunday in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas, by a man that police say just kept driving.
David Benton’s body lodged in the windshield before falling off in a nearby parking lot.
“In my last visit with him Friday, when we parted I said, ‘I love you son’ and he said ‘I love you, Dad’… it’s a good memory,” recalls Don Benton, as he loses his latest battle to hold back the tears. Benton could never have imagined that that goodbye, would be goodbye: the last words he’d ever speak to their son.
David Benton had checked himself into a nearby hospital Saturday night, and on Sunday morning investigators believe he was walking to his parent’s retirement community near White Rock Lake.
“He wouldn’t have called and asked me for a ride on Sunday morning,” says Benton, “because he knew I was going to preach.”
The elder Benton is a semi-retired Methodist Minister. He now acts as chaplain at his retirement community. But, for some 65 years, sorrow has been his traveling companion as he offered comfort to others in times of loss.
“I’ve preached it all these years. I’ve been on the other side thousands of times… but, this time it was for me… and it was hard.”
He says David was giving, intellectually gifted– part of the Mensa society—an athlete, and most of all, a son who adored his mother.
“Rosie said to me Sunday after the policeman left… she said: what do people do without faith? Such stunning news… you didn’t know what to say, so we just sat here in silence.” And then, he says, they prayed… asking God to sustain them. And he says God has.
Police quickly arrested the suspected driver, 22-year-old Angel Lopez-Gil. He is now jailed and facing charges.
Still, this man of faith—a grieving father– says he has compassion for the young man who must now live with the consequences of his actions… but, what about forgiveness?
“I think forgiveness is God’s business and that young man has to go to God… he doesn’t have to have mine. And I pray that he will.”
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