NC church remembers elderly couple killed in triple-fatal crash

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — The three victims in a fatal crash involving multiple cars in Brunswick County Friday night have been identified.

Francis and Leroy Carlisle in a photo from Beach Assembly of God via WECT.

According to State Highway Patrol Trooper Corey Blackwell, a pickup truck was traveling south on U.S. 17 near N.C. 904 when the driver swerved into the turn lane and hit a van around 8 p.m.

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The van, with an elderly couple inside, flew across the highway and was hit by two other vehicles.

Blackwell said both people in the van, Francis Carlisle, 82, and her husband, Leroy Carlisle, 82, were transported to Grand Strand Hospital and died from their injuries.

According to the associate pastor of their church, Beach Assembly of God, the couple was driving home from an addiction recovery program where they volunteered every Friday night.

“They were here like grandparents and just really cared for people and you could feel it. You knew it. You didn’t have to question it. They believed in everybody that walked through the door,” associate pastor Tony Phillips said.

Church members said the couple treated everyone with kindness and built people up.


“They are in a better place for sure because they just have the kindest souls, the kindest souls of people you’ll ever meet,” Kayla Anthony, a family friend and church member said.

“We’re going to miss her worship when she would just walk forward and lift her hands to the Lord and just praise the Lord and just bless the name of Jesus. And we’re going to miss Mr. Leroy. When you’d look at him, he’d always say everything is just right,” Phillips said.

Blackwell said a passenger, Penny Pigford, 51, from one of the cars involved in the second collision was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where she later died from her injuries.

The three other people injured in the wreck have since been released from the hospital.

The driver of the pickup truck, Michael Anthony Johnson, 31, from Wilmington, was arrested and charged with felony death by motor vehicle. Saturday night, Trooper Blackwell said alcohol was considered to be a factor in the crash.

According to Blackwell, Johnson suffered minor injuries.

Johnson was taken to Grand Strand Medical Center to be treated for his injuries. He was then booked in the Horry County jail. Blackwell said Johnson will be extradited back to North Carolina.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

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