SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) — A mother, father, and two children from Rowan County were all killed in a traffic accident in West Virginia on Thursday.
Friends, family members, and school officials say David Gilley, his wife Christine, and the couple’s two children, Jack and Grace, were all killed.
According to Mercer County Emergency Management Director Tim Farley, the crash happened on I-77 near mile marker 22 in Camp Creek, West Virginia, around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
A tractor-trailer heading southbound lost control and crossed the median striking the Gilley’s vehicle that heading northbound.
The truck rolled over and caught on fire, according to published reports.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was airlifted to Charleston Area Medical Center.
The Gilleys were on the way to visit family members in Ohio, according to a family friend.
Jack Gilley was a fourth grader at Bostian Elementary School. On Friday parents received a letter from the school administration informing them of the accident.
“Please keep Jack’s family, friends, peers, and the rest of the Bostian family in your thoughts and prayers,” teacher Amy Vedeikis wrote. “Our district’s crisis intervention team of counselors, through the Student Services Department, will be available when we return from Spring Break to be there for our students, staff and families. The team will support us for as long as needed.”
Grace Gilley attended Salisbury Academy. That school has planned a vigil for the family on Monday night at 6:30.
Steve Pinkerton, owner of CrossFit Vitality in Concord, said the family frequented his gym. He posted a lengthy message about the family online Friday and spoke to WBTV in an interview.
“They were that perfect family. Everybody was happy. Everybody loved being around them,” said Pinkerton.
He said Christine Gilley would drive 45 minutes to workout at the gym, and sometimes the whole family would exercise there.
Pinkerton’s wife, Jess, said that Christine was a great person and would volunteer for the special needs CrossFit kids program.
“I think the hardest part with our community is nobody knows what to do at this point,” said Jess Pinkerton.
The Pinkertons agreed that this devastating tragedy will be tough on the gym. They are planning to honor the family with a special workout.
“The only thing I could think about that helped me get through the day is that they went together. They’re gone together and they stayed together,” said Steve Pinkerton.
Salisbury Academy released this statement Saturday morning:
It is with deep sorrow that Salisbury Academy mourns the loss of the Gilley Family – Dave, Christine, Jack and Grace.
Grace, a seventh-grader at Salisbury Academy, was a light-filled spirit and epitomized every aspect of true grace. She was a friend to all of her classmates, beloved by faculty, and had a tremendous heart. She was beautiful inside and out.
Words are not adequate to express the loss of Grace and her family. Our prayers of sympathy, love and support go out to all who knew and loved them.
A vigil for the family was held at the Concord Church of Christ Friday. Funeral arrangements are currently being made. A private vigil will be held Monday evening for students, parents and staff members of Salisbury Academy.Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.