NCSHP: Deer in road caused Wake County church van crash that killed 2

Two people died following a crash involving a church van in Wake County.

The wreck happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of Zebulon Road and Barham Siding Road near Rolesville.

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, 62-year-old Edward Barfield was driving a Dodge van belonging to First Missionary Baptist Church.

Troopers said he was headed south on NC 96 when he struck a deer, lost control, hit a Toyota van, and then struck an SUV head-on.

The SUV then became submerged in water off of the roadway.

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Two people are dead following a crash involving a church van in Wake County.

The driver of that vehicle, 62-year-old Deborah Powell, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in the church van 84-year-old William Clayton was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Five of the church van's passengers were transported to WakeMed in serious condition, and six were taken to Duke University Hospital in serious condition.

Barfield was taken to Duke University Hospital by life flight and is listed in critical condition.

Charges are possible and will be discussed with the Wake County District Attorney's Office.

A First Missionary Baptist Church official told ABC11 some church members had gone to the Central Children's Home of North Carolina Sunday afternoon to attend a program and drop off clothes and food.

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People at the orphanage where the church members had visited were saddened by the tragic accident.

Witness said the scene was horrific.

"They kept saying someone is trapped up under the water," the woman said. "As I went to the other side of the van there were people laying on the ground, screaming and hollering. Just blood everywhere."

The First Missionary Baptist Church released a statement:
The First Missionary Baptist Church family is deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred on May 20th, 2018 while our church members and friends were returning from serving at the Oxford Children's Home. While we are thankful that most everyone survived, our hearts are broken as our long time Deacon and faithful member William Clayton Sr. did not. Although, we know of the loss of one church family member, we ask that you please grant us grace and privacy as we counsel with our family members.

Our sympathy is also extended to the family of the driver of the other vehicle who also lost her life. The coming weeks and months will be difficult and we are committed to facing this together. We will give the Clayton family and all of those who remain with us our love and support as they grieve and work toward their healing. Let us remember to pray and be present so that our sisters and brothers may know that God is with them during these trying times.
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