Local News

SUV hits Johnston County church

Posted November 10, 2010 1:30 p.m. EST
Updated November 10, 2010 5:43 p.m. EST

— A 51-year-old woman and her three grandchildren were injured when their SUV struck a Princeton church early Wednesday afternoon, badly damaging the building.

Police Chief Tyrone Sutton said that a Ford Escape driven by Barbara Martin veered off the road in the 200 block of South Pearl Street road and traveled 246 feet before hitting Princeton Baptist Church at 40 to 50 mph.

Fire Chief Ken Starling said that Martin was taken to WakeMed in Raleigh. She had a broken right leg and possible internal injuries.

Her three grandchildren, ages 4, 5 and 8, were taken to Johnston Memorial Hospital in Smithfield to be checked for possible internal injuries, Starling said. The children complained of head and chest pain at the scene.

Starling said building inspectors found that the crash destabilized the front columns of the church at the point of impact. The front entrance of the church is unsafe for use, he said, but worship services will be held as scheduled. There was no estimate yet on how much repairs will cost.

Martin told investigators that she doesn't remember the crash and has a history of seizures, Sutton said. It has not yet been determined if she had a seizure before the wreck.