Popular church comedian hit, killed on I-285

Updated:

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. —

Police say a popular church speaker and comedian was hit and killed while he was standing next to his truck on Interstate 285 Tuesday.

Friends of 55-year-old Lanny Moody said he worked with children at the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Newton County for more than 5 years. The pastor said he was known for using humor to share his love for the Lord.

Photos and videos of Moody online show him as a happy, fun-loving guy. He described himself as a speaker, comic, teacher, husband, father and grandfather.

Moody died tragically on I-285 near Cascade Road. Police said Moody was standing outside his truck when he was struck by the driver of another vehicle, Benjamin Head.

"From our understanding, an oncoming car lost control. We don't know who, we know the family's hurting. Even that family's hurting and it was definitely not intentional, it was an accident," said pastor Mike Franklin.

Franklin said Moody's larger-than-life personality will be greatly missed.

"His calling was not only to make you laugh, but also just to love people." Franklin said. "He wanted to make sure that he got your attention through laughter."

Franklin said he knows Moody would want people to use his tragic death as a reminder to love those around you and appreciate each and every day.

"I'm sure he, along with the spirit of the New Testament, would want to make sure that everyone's ready, because you never know when you leave the house if you're coming back," Franklin said.

Police are still working to figure out why Moody was outside his truck. Contrary to initial reports, they don't believe he was attempting to change a tire.

Police charged Head with homicide by vehicle and failure to maintain his lane, both misdemeanors.