Pastor, 2 others hit by van in parking lot of church, polling lo - | WBTV Charlotte

Pastor, 2 others hit by van in parking lot of church, polling location


A pastor and two other people were injured after being hit by a van in the parking lot of a Concord church Tuesday morning which was acting as a polling location.

The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. at Center United Methodist Church on the 1100 block of Union Street South, according to Concord police.

Emergency crews arrived and found three people who were struck by a minivan moving in reverse in the parking lot. The minivan also struck a parked vehicle.

The injured were identified as 55-year old Tony Allen, the pastor of the church, 64-year-old Susan Hicks, and 62-year-old Sharon Campbell.

All three were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast, and were listed in stable condition Tuesday evening.

A family member of the driver said she is in her 80s.  She was questioned by police. 

As for the victims, one of them was a volunteer at the polls handing out candidate information. Witnesses say the van was on top of her. 

Ardyce DeBurle was scheduled to fill in for that volunteer and lives near the church.

"And I heard all of these sirens and we looked out and I could see the fire trucks from here," said DeBurle, "And then I saw helicopters circling overhead two or three of them.  So I knew something terrible had happened but I didn't know exactly what."

DeBurle was preparing to volunteer at her church which on primary day was a voting precinct. But she was called and told not to come up.

"She said there's a lot of blood all over the parking place it's kind of a gruesome sight.  And she said a lot of the voters who were coming up to vote now after it happened were quite shaken by what had happened," said DeBurle, "I said a little prayer of thanks that I wasn't the one up there on that shift, that it had to happened before I got there, which may not have been the right reaction."

DeBurle said another volunteer reacted just right.

"She was working at the polls before that happened and she was still there at the time.  She helped them get the van off of the lady, the poll worker that was injured," said DeBurle.

That hero told WBTV by phone she worked with another man lifting the rear of the car as the driver moved forward. She said the scene was horrific and is glad no one was killed.

"Our thoughts are with the injured and all those affected by this tragedy," said Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach.

The driver of the minivan is cooperating with police. Cabarrus County's election operations are proceeding normally at the church.

The investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections reminds the public to be aware of their surroundings as they go to their voting locations.

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