Hundreds gather to reflect on lives lost in church van crash

Nottoway unites following fatal crash

NOTTOWAY COUNTY, VA. (WWBT) - Comfort and condolences were exchanged Thursday night as Nottoway neighbors joined forces to reflect on four lives lost in this week's deadly church van crash.

Hundreds packed Nottoway Middle School for a prayer vigil.

"In times like this, we look to him for our strength,” Rev. Travis Warren told the crowd.

That’s just what Celeste Wynn is doing.

"It’s just a wave of emotions. It really is,” she said.

Blackstone community members drop off flowers at Shiloh Baptist Church following deadly church van accident. (Source: NBC12)
Blackstone community members drop off flowers at Shiloh Baptist Church following deadly church van accident. (Source: NBC12) (Source: NBC12)

She’s only left with the memories of her mother, Constance Wynn.

"Firm, loving, a little bit on the comical side at times. You know you didn’t play with her,” Wynn said.

They were among the 11 people who were in a church van heading to a revival when it was rear-ended by a pick-up truck. Four died on the scene and seven others had to be rushed to hospitals.

"The people in that van, this is what they want to see, (everyone) together in Nottoway County,” Blackstone Mayor Billy Coleburn said.

Two days after the crash, there was a huge outpouring of support as hundreds gathered to reflect.

Rev. Benjamin Brown is the Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, and those in the van were part of his congregation.

"People from all over have been calling and expressing their love and care,” Brown said.

It’s just what this community needs as it grieves four lives lost.

"Lord, we know that each one of them - Deloris, Constance, Wartena, and James are resting with you now,” Warren said.

"They reached a much better place,” Coleburn said.

“My mom wouldn’t want us to loathe or miss her,” Lloyette Wynn said. “She would want us to celebrate her life.”

At least one of the seven people who went to the hospital has now been released. The others are said to be in good spirits and are expected to recover.

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