A North Carolina pastor was killed on Friday when a car hit him and several others waiting in line outside of a local hamburger restaurant.
According to ChurchLeaders.com, New Life Church Pastor Mark McKinney, 64, was waiting outside of Johnson’s Drive-In restaurant in Siler City, North Carolina, on Friday when a vehicle driven by a local man named John Salvatore Graviano crashed into the restaurant, killing McKinney instantly and injuring three others. Among the injured was a 77-year-old woman who was airlifted to a nearby hospital in serious but stable condition, a 39-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man, both of whom were treated for minor injuries.
According to ABC 11 WTVD News, Graviano was traveling west on U.S. Highway 64 when he crossed the centerline, striking a turning vehicle. The crash sent Graviano’s car further into oncoming traffic and then into the grass on the east side of the Johnson’s Drive-In parking lot. The vehicle then continued on, crashing directly through the parking lot and into the group of customers waiting outside to receive their food.
Johnson’s Drive-In indoor dining area is currently closed because of COVID-19.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, New Life Church announced the passing of its founder and pastor of 22 years.
“It is with great sadness that we share this news on behalf of the McKinney family and New Life Church, that our Senior Pastor, Pastor Mark, passed away yesterday in a tragic accident that happened in Siler City, NC,” the church wrote.
“The life that he lived impacted everyone around him. He was an amazing husband to Pastor Dee, father to Pastor Matt and Cara, and Grandpa to four grandchildren. He was a great friend, teacher, pastor, and mentor to hundreds of people,” the post continued.
“He finished strong, and he never quit. He fought the good fight of faith and stepped over to Heaven with joy. He won the crown that was laid up for him!!”
ChurchLeaders.com reports that McKinney and his wife, Dee, are the founding pastors of New Life Church. His son Matthew is an associate pastor at the church, and Matthew’s wife, Jennifer, is a preschool pastor.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but Graviano was taken into police custody and charged with “misdemeanor death by vehicle, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and driving left of center,” WTVD reports.
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Chalabala
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.