Pray! Church Van Carrying Choir From Shiloh Baptist Church to Sing in Revival at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Virginia Is Rear-Ended by a Pickup Truck Hauling Metal, Leaving Four Dead and Eight Others Critically Injured After the Vehicle Rolled Several Times

Wartena Somerville (pictured with husband, Michael) was among the four victims of the accident, which occurred Tuesday night as the church van was turning into a parking lot

Four people have been killed and eight others were wounded in a church van crash in Virginia Tuesday night.

The deadly accident occurred in Dinwiddie, Virginia, and involved a van carrying 11 members of Shiloh Baptist Church, in Blackstone, Virginia, who were on their way to an event at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

At about 6.45pm Tuesday, the Shiloh Baptist Church van was slowing down while making a right turn into the Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s parking lot in Dinwiddie, when it was rear-ended by a truck pulling a trailer of metal that failed to stop in time, according to WRIC.

Wartena Somerville (pictured with husband, Michael) was among the four victims of the accident, which occurred Tuesday night as the church van was turning into a parking lot
Wartena Somerville (pictured with husband, Michael) was among the four victims of the accident, which occurred Tuesday night as the church van was turning into a parking lot
A truck towing metal rear-ended the church van, which then rolled multiple times before stopping on its side, leaving four dead and either with life-threatening or serious injuries
A truck towing metal rear-ended the church van, which then rolled multiple times before stopping on its side, leaving four dead and either with life-threatening or serious injuries

The van was said to have flipped over multiple times before coming to a stop on its side. The truck, meanwhile, hit a guardrail.

Virginia State Police said that four of the van passengers died at the scene. Three other passengers were airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, while the remaining four were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The truck driver was also taken to the hospital after suffering minor injuries.

The four church members who died were identified as Constant Wynn, Delores Williams, James Farley and Wartena Somerville, a married first-grade teacher and mother of a nine-month-old girl.

Wartena’s husband, Michael Somerville, told WRIC that he was ‘In disbelief right now, in disbelief, but I know the Lord, and she knew the Lord, and we know that God knows best, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.’

Wartena (with husband Michael) was among the 11 Shiloh Baptist Church choir members in the van who were driving to perform at a revival at Mt. Zion Church that evening
Wartena (with husband Michael) was among the 11 Shiloh Baptist Church choir members in the van who were driving to perform at a revival at Mt. Zion Church that evening
Authorities said the pickup truck failed to stop in time as the church van slowed to turn into the Mt. Zion Church's parking lot
Authorities said the pickup truck failed to stop in time as the church van slowed to turn into the Mt. Zion Church’s parking lot

Michael, who had been been married to Wartena for three years, told WTVR that his wife had hugged and kiss him and their baby before leaving and noted that he was ‘supposed to be driving the van today.’

Instead, sources told the news station that the driver of the van was a church deacon, who had suffered minor injuries during the crash.

Shiloh Baptist deacon Lafayette Dickens told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the 11 van passengers were choir members who were on their way to sing at the church’s revival.

Dickens called the four church members who died ‘such good people,’ adding that ‘It just hurts right now. We’ve never dealt with anything like this. We’re just taking it one day at a time.’

Authorities have not released the name of the truck driver and still investigating the accident. The outcome of the investigation will determine whether any charges are filed.

Source: Daily Mail


DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Four people were killed on Tuesday when a truck pulling a trailer loaded with metal rear-ended a church van in Dinwiddie County.

The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. on Route 460 at Zion Road. Virginia State Police said they received a report about a multi-passenger van overturning several times after being hit from behind.

The van was carrying members of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Blackstone to an event at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Dinwiddie. It was traveling west on Rt. 460 when it began to make a right turn into the church parking lot. That’s when a Ford F-450 truck, which was pulling a trailer carrying metal, failed to stop in time and struck the back of the van.

The collision caused the van to overturn multiple times and then stop on its side off the right side of Rt. 460. The truck struck a guardrail after running off the left side of Rt. 460.

On Wednesday, 8News spoke with the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist, Reverend Dr. Joseph Fields, who recalled the horrific moments rushing to the wreck right outside his church. The 74-year-old called it the worst thing he’s seen since the Vietnam War.

Authorities said that 11 adults were in the van at the time of the crash and four died at the scene. Three others were flown to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries and four people in the van were transported to nearby hospitals with serious injuries.

8News also spoke with a man named Michael Somerville at the scene who said his wife, Wartena Somerville, was one of the four people killed in the crash. Somerville said he and his wife were married for three years, and they have a nine-month-old baby girl together.

“In disbelief right now, in disbelief, but I know the Lord, and she knew the Lord, and we know that God knows best, and we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us. And we just continue to pray for the families who lost loved ones,” Somerville told 8News.

Somerville also said she was a first-grade teacher at Crewe Primary School in Nottoway County.

Virginia State Police confirmed that the four people who didn’t survive the crash are all residents of Blackstone, Virginia: James Farley, 87, Wartena Somerville, 36, Delois Williams, 72 and Constance Wynn, 85.

The driver of the Ford F-450, Robert Lee Allen, 47 or Norfolk was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries, state police said.

The crash investigation is ongoing at this time. Charges are pending.

Source: WRIC