Lizzie Lohmar wasn’t the tallest on the soccer field, but she was tough.
Just 5-foot-3, she was the anchor of Collins Hill’s central defense her final three high school seasons from 2008-10, as well as an accomplished cross country runner. She took those traits to college, where she was a member of Valdosta State’s first-ever signing class in women’s soccer.
Her family and friends are just as quick to talk about what kind of person she was off the soccer field, and Saturday was about sharing those memories of Lohmar, a 21-year-old who passed away early Saturday morning from injuries suffered in a Wednesday pedestrian accident near the Valdosta State campus.
Lohmar was a senior at VSU and was on the Dean’s List for the fall semester. She was heavily involved with the Phi Mu sorority.
“She was great young lady,” Collins Hill head soccer coach Jeff Tinklepaugh said of Lohmar. “She was a very good soccer player, a top student. She did all the right things. She was the kind of kid you love to coach. She was always there to do what you asked her to do, a hard worker. She was a solid all-around player, a solid all-around high school student.”
According to the Valdosta Police Department media relase, Lohmar was walking across the intersection of North Patterson Street and East College Street at 12:37 p.m. on the proper pedestrian light when she was struck by a Chevrolet Silverado turning south on North Patterson Street. The driver, 21-year-old Michael Laslie, was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Tinklepaugh said the majority of Lohmar’s injuries were to soft tissue, with no spinal cord issues or major head trauma. She had a lung removed as part of multiple surgeries the day of the accident, and there was liver and spleen damage. She also had testing on her heart for damage.
She had shown some improvements, her former coach said, acknowledging family members and squeezing their hands despite being sedated.
“I guess it was too much to recover from,” Tinklepaugh said. “She passed away around 3 a.m. (Saturday) with her parents and family there by her side. It’s terrible. My (current Collins Hill) girls are already talking about getting armbands to honor her.”
Lohmar was an accomplished multi-sport athlete at Collins Hill, contributing heavily there in soccer after a long club career with Atlanta Fire United. She played her freshman season on Valdosta State’s club soccer team and then played in 2011 on the university’s inaugural team. After that, she focused on her studies and gave up soccer.
Friends from both of her schools flooded Twitter with messages throughout Saturday.
“Lizzie you will be missed!!! Praying for the Lohmar family and everybody affected by this tragedy! Heaven really gained an incredible angel!” Collins Hill grad Timmy Quinones wrote.
“Prayers for the family of VSU student Lizzie Lohmar. A former VSU soccer player, Lizzie was one of our favorite students in the math dept.” VSU’s Jan Lowe posted.
According to her Facebook profile, Lohmar also worked at the Circlestone Golf and Country Club in nearby Adel in addition to being a student.