Robert Lawrence III (RJ) death: 5 YO died after Tree Smashes Into Home

Robert Lawrence III died. (Source: Facebook)

Robert Lawrence, 5, was killed inside his bedroom on Saturday afternoon when severe weather collapsed a large tree and destroyed a home in Jennings. Keep reading to know more about it in detail.


Robert Lawrence III (RJ) death: What happened?

Robert Lawrence, 5, lost his life when a tree fell on his home and struck it, according to a Missouri official.

At 3:55 pm on Saturday, July 1, St. Louis County Police officers received a call reporting that a tree had fallen into a home in the 5200 block of Hamilton Avenue, in Jennings, while the youngster was inside.

Police determined the tree did indeed fall onto the back of the house where Robert Lawrence III’s bedroom was.

RJ’s family’s home was entirely destroyed when one of those trees fell on it. (Source: GoFundMe)

The unconscious youngster was caught under the tree and had to be pulled out several times by police and emergency personnel. Robert Lawrence III, as given by the family to News 4, but they referred to him as RJ.

After being transported to a local hospital for treatment, Lawrence was later pronounced dead.

Yolanda Fountain-Henderson, a state representative from Missouri and a Democrat, posted pictures of the destruction on her Facebook page.

Two people died as a result of the storms on Saturday, including Lawrence. Just before 5:30 p.m. in St. Louis City, a woman died when a tree near The Grove fell on the automobile she was sitting in.


Neighbor’s Statement:

The young kid was known to his neighbors as Robert or “R.J.” He has been named by authorities as Robert “R.J.” Lawrence III.

The man’s next-door neighbor, Manuel Garza, who has lived there for more than 45 years, claimed that he and his family had fun chatting with him while he played in their front yard.

When he and his 67-year-old wife heard the ruckus, they were both sleeping upstairs and walked downstairs to look into the bloodshed.

Garza said,

“Yeah, he was a real nice kid,” 

“They got trapped. The babies got trapped,”

“It got hit by lightning. We heard lightning and all that stuff. And then, the one hit the house where the kids were sleeping, and they were yelling, yelling. And they couldn’t do nothing.” 

Garza stated, “I could hear them.” “And She responded, ‘Well, they’re going to get them out,'” Later on, he became quiet. They responded, “No, he died.

The only vacant bedroom in the Garzas’ house at the time was the upstairs guest room, which was also damaged by branches falling from the same big tree.

He said,

“We’ve been lucky so far, We just gotta hold on for dear life … What can we do?”

The family of a 5-year-old kid who died has received some initial support from the American Red Cross.


Cause of death

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidents and unintentional injuries are the main cause of death for kids between the ages of 5 and 9 in the United States.

According to the CDC, 827 kids between the ages of 5 and 9 died in accidents and suffered unintentional injuries in 2021. The total number of kids in the United States between those ages that year was 20,291,548.


GoFundMe Page

Nadia Quinn, a councilwoman, set up the GoFundMe page on behalf of Lawrence’s family after his passing.

It was created to support the family following RJ’s passing and assist LaWanda Thomas, who was RJ’s mother, and her 3-year-old child in locating a temporary home.

Quinn added:

“On behalf of many members of the Great City of Jennings, MO – with the assistance of State Representative Yolanda Fountain-Henderson, we are putting together all the assistance and community support we can gather.

On Saturday, July 1st, 2023, straight-line winds produced by a thunderstorm in Jennings, MO caused several trees to break. One of those trees hit the house of RJ’s family and completely demolished it.

RJ was caught underneath and was unable to be rescued. To my knowledge, it took 45 minutes for help to arrive – a neighbor physically had to drive to the police station to get help as the 911 dispatch was unavailable.”

Help didn’t arrive for 45 minutes, according to Quinn, and a neighbor had to drive him to the police station because there was no 911 dispatch.

A week before his sixth birthday, “RJ” was killed when a tree crashed into the house when Robert Lawrence III was in his bedroom. (Source: GoFundMe)

The mayor of Jennings, the Jennings council, and Fountain-Henderson are helping with a hotel stay, according to Quinn’s post.

Quinn also added:

“The Red Cross has yet to put the mother and another 3-year-old child up in an emergency shelter. A kind neighbor took the family in last evening, and Jennings Council, Mayor & State Representative Yolanda Fountain-Henderson are assisting with the hotel stay for tonight.

The mother, LaWanda ‘Nina’ Thomas needs emergency shelter, funds for food, clothing, transportation, etc. This family has lost everything. The roof of the home is a gaping hole and all material items are a complete loss. Everything has been rained on and is inaccessible.”

Out of a $10,000 goal, the GoFundMe campaign has reportedly raised $2,945 as of this writing.

Quinn claims that the money will be used to pay for things like clothing, food, transportation, and other things.


People’s responses to Robert Lawrence’s death

People have offered prayers for the family of 5-year-old Robert Larence III, also known as RJ, who died yesterday after a tree fell on the Jennings home he was in.

Robert’s aunt shared a photo of him while also expressing her sorrow.

The news of Robert’s passing has understandably devastated her family and friends, and condolences have poured in from all over the neighborhood. Many people have expressed their sympathies and offered support to Robert’s loved ones on social media during this difficult period. We send our sympathies to Robert’s family and friends during this difficult time.


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