Riding on her scooter along with her dog in a backpack, Lyn Harden was a familiar site around Statesboro and Bulloch County.
Harden was tragically killed Monday morning in a traffic accident on Highway 80 East, just west of Brooklet. She was 62.
“I am very honored to have known her and that we cared for her at the (Open Hearts Community) Mission,” said Delia Mobley, executive director of the Mission on Martin Luther King Drive in Statesboro. “She was with us for four months and was such a bright light. She never had a rainy Monday type of day. Such a tragedy.”
Georgia State Patrol Trooper Erik Kolwicz said he received a call about 7 a.m. Monday about a vehicle and motorcycle crash. He said CPR was performed, but Harden was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The moped was going eastbound on 80,” Kolwicz said. “There was a vehicle on Cody Lane at the stop sign trying to turn left onto 80 West. The driver of the truck said she checked left, checked right and proceeded to turn left and the moped appeared to her, she said, out of nowhere. The moped T-boned the truck and the operator ejected off the moped.”
Kolwicz said a member of the Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team came to the scene and will handle the investigation, which will determine if any charges may be filed. He said the investigation could take a few weeks, though he said the details of the accident appear “pretty cut and dried” so it may take a shorter time.
Harden’s dog, a dachshund named Thorin, was riding with her at the time. He was uninjured in the accident but was frightened and ran away. Mobley said dozens of community members came out to the area to search for Thorin, but couldn’t find him.
Mobley said Coastal Countertops owner Dana McClendon set a “trap” using Harden’s clothes, the dog’s favorite blanket and toys and food. Thorin was found Tuesday morning and is doing well while staying with a family friend, Mobley said.
Harden was a Savannah native and lived in the Bulloch area for a while, Mobley said.
“You see how many people really loved her who came out to help look for her dog,” Mobley said. “I met so many friends of hers. Some of the younger people she worked with at Dairy Queen over in Claxton referred to her as ‘Mama Lyn.’”
Mobley said Harden came to stay at the Mission in April when she was forced to leave where she was living and had no place to go. She said Harden was on disability due to several health conditions and had saved up enough money to find a small apartment.
“In the short time I was blessed to know her, you could see what a bright light she was,” Mobley said. “She was an author and even a certified embalmer.”
In fact, Harden wrote a mystery novel, set in Savannah, called “The Big Hole.” It was published in 2016, and the 270-page book is still available on Amazon.
Mobley said Harden was a devoted member of Bible Baptist Church. A memorial service was held for Harden at the church on Wednesday evening.