Friends, family grieve loss of beloved Person County mail carrier

Local News

ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Friends and coworkers are reflecting on the loss of a Person County mail carrier. Alonzo Russell was killed in a car crash late Friday afternoon. His 13-year-old son was also in the car and remains in the hospital, according to Russell’s wife Deana.

A memorial for Alonzo Russell – a Person County mail carrier who died in a crash on Jan. 31, 2020. (Feb. 4, 2020)

A memorial has sprung up at the post office where he worked.

“Alonzo was a great person. He always had a smile on his face. He brought energy to a room. He was a coach. Everybody in the community looked up to him,” coworker Gail Naillon said.

“He was a very loving and caring person,” Jermaine Wallace added.

Wallace said Russell was his mail carrier. He was touched by Russell and how he interacted with his children.

“When I brought the news to my children Monday, she remembered him as the guy who would give them candy when he delivered the mail. That’s not part of his job, and for him to go out of his way to make a child smile that showed a lot about his character,” Wallace said.

The crash happened on U.S. 158 just outside the city limits. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said the driver headed west hit his breaks, causing his car to go sideways. Russell wasn’t able to stop in time. He died on the way to the hospital.

His 13-year-old son, Ian, was also in the car. He remains in the hospital. Russell’s wife and Ian’s mother said he’s scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday.

The driver of the other car has been identified as 30-year-old Froylan Matias. He’s charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

“I was shocked when I heard the news,” coworker Martin McGhee said.

Russell was also a recreational basketball coach. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

“He meant a lot to us. I feel like everyone who works here is family,” coworker Mary Mangum said.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Russell’s family.

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