GRAY COURT, SC (FOX Carolina) – A 55-year-old man who died after being struck by a Laurens County School District 55 school bus Monday afternoon will be laid to rest on Friday.
According to the SC Highway Patrol website, the crash happened around 4:30 p.m. on SC 101 near Harris Grove Church Road.
Edward Murray with Laurens County School District did confirm a fatality as a result of the crash, but indicated that the district will have no further comments pending the outcome of the accident investigation.
The LCSD 55 Superintendent, Dr. Stephen Peters did provide a statement:
“We are greatly distressed by the loss of life resulting from this accident and we wish to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased. We strive to operate our buses as safely as possible and will do all we can to learn from this experience. The safety and security of our students, our staff, and the community are our number one priority, and this is a tragic loss.”
Troopers say that two vehicles were involved, a sedan and the bus. Troopers say initial investigation revealed the bus driver crossed the center line and struck the sedan head on, fatally injuring the driver. No other passengers were in the vehicles.
The bus driver suffered a medical incident before the crash, troopers said.
The Laurens County coroner later identified the deceased as 55-year-old Herman Alexander Black, of Woodruff, South Carolina. Black died from blunt force trauma, the coroner says.
Black was a pastor at Golightly United Methodist Church, according to the church. He leaves behind a wife and three sons.
Rev. Cathy Mitchell, superintendent of the Spartanburg District of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church released this statement Wednesday on behalf of Bishop L. Jonathan Holston and all South Carolina United Methodists:
We are deeply grieved at the loss of our friend and fellow pastor, the Rev. Herman (Alex) Black.
We ask everyone to join us in prayer and support for his family, for the churches he led, and for all of the people blessed by his life and ministry.
Rev. Black was a part-time local pastor who had just begun his second year caring for Golightly United Methodist Church and Tabernacle United Methodist Church, both in the Spartanburg District of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He led these congregations with love and compassion, and they loved him back.
Alex, as his friends knew him, was excited about ministry and about his coursework at Duke Divinity School. He greeted everyone with a big smile, and his heart for people just seemed to radiate when you spoke with him.
He loved his family and spoke often of his wife Kimberly and his “three boys” – but it was his grandson, Grayson, about whom he could never seem to stop talking.
As a pastor, Alex’s goal was to be as fruitful as possible in the mission and ministry of the church – always striving to cross every “t” and dot every “i” in faithfully serving and honoring God. We miss him dearly.
Black's funeral will be held Friday at Bramlett United Methodist Church in Gray Court. The church is located at 2043 Bramlett Church Road.
Visitation will precede the service from 2 - 3:30 p.m.