Passenger In Church Van Crash Dies

Photo by John Payne

FOUR OAKS – Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon for a Selma woman who died from injuries sustained in a two vehicle accident. The accident happened at 4:49pm Friday on Black Creek Road at Packing Plant Road four miles north of Four Oaks.

Troopers said Deborah Ann Martinez, 51, of Smithfield was operating a 2012 Dodge van on Packing Plant Road and failed to stop for a stop sign at Black Creek Road. The van was struck head on by a 2004 GMC SUV traveling on Black Creek Road and driven by Armida E. Castro-Abrego, 42, of Smithfield.

A passenger in the van, Jean Peele Marlow, 74, died Saturday at Wake Med as a result of her injuries. Martinez and Castro-Abrego sustained serious injuries.

According to an accident report, the Dodge van was owned by Temple Baptist Church in Selma. Troopers estimated both vehicles were traveling at 45mph when they collided head on. There were no tire impressions before impact. After the impact, the van overturned. All three victims had to be extricated by Four Oaks Fire crews.

Martinez was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign. Additional charges have not been ruled out.

According to her obituary, Jean Marlow was a member at Temple Baptist Church and honored lifetime member of the Neuse Little Theatre having performed in her first production in 1976.