Tragic Accident

Rescue workers work to render aid to those injured in Tuesday’s crash. Mt. Zion Pastor Joe Fields calls crash ‘a nightmare’ as his church leans on faith for support.

DINWIDDIE – Dinwiddie’s faith-based community and the entire county are reeling after a deadly crash involving a church van left four people dead and several others injured Tuesday evening.

The crash occurred along U.S. Route 460 near Ford near Zion Rd. just before 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Virginia State Police representatives said the van, which was carrying nearly a dozen members of Shiloh Baptist Church in Blackstone, was heading westbound when it slowed down to turn into Mount Zion Baptist Church’s parking lot. They were visiting the church for an evening of services.

At that time, authorities said a Ford F-450 truck carrying a trailer of metal “failed to stop in time” and struck the van from behind, with it overturning several times before landing on its side.

That pick-up truck ended up running off the road and striking a guardrail, state police said.

Emergency crews rushed to the scene but, four people inside the van died as a result of their injuries. They were later identified as James Farley, 87; Wartena Somerville, 36; Delois Williams, 72; and Constance Wynn, 85, all from Blackstone.

Other passengers were either flown and transported via ambulance to various hospitals in the area for treatment of injuries ranging from serious to life-threatening, law enforcement representatives said. The driver of the truck, identified as Robert Lee Allen, 47, of Norfolk was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.