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‘God found fit for them to go together.’ Married couple dies in Charlotte crash.

The scene where a couple married 47 years died Sunday in a three-car crash near Billy Graham Parkway. Police said the crash happened after a woman driving a van sped through a red light at the intersection of West Woodlawn Road and South Tryon Street.
The scene where a couple married 47 years died Sunday in a three-car crash near Billy Graham Parkway. Police said the crash happened after a woman driving a van sped through a red light at the intersection of West Woodlawn Road and South Tryon Street. WBTV

Pamela Lockhart knew something was wrong Sunday morning when neither of her parents showed up for church.

Simmie and Sylvia Long, both 67, attended services with their daughter each week. They would call her beforehand to let her know if they couldn’t make it.

“I just thought it was odd that they weren’t there,” Lockhart said.

Later that day, Lockhart learned her parents died in a car crash.

The Longs were killed Sunday morning in a three-vehicle collision near Billy Graham Parkway that left the road closed for several hours.

The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. when police say a woman driving a 1998 Ford Econoline van sped through a red light on West Woodlawn Road at South Tryon Street. The van collided with a Ford Mustang in the intersection before ricocheting into a Lincoln Aviator driven by the Longs.

The van and car both rolled onto their sides before coming to a rest. Sylvia and Simmie Long both died at the scene.

“God found fit for them to go together,” Lockhart said.

High school sweethearts, the Longs were married for 47 years, their daughter said. They moved to Charlotte from Myrtle Beach, S.C. and raised three daughters. Simmie made a career as a truck driver and Sylvia worked for Wells Fargo, Lockhart said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said the driver, 33-year-old Amber Ann Marie Frazier, is expected to be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving. She was taken to the hospital, along with two other people injured in the crash. All three were still in the hospital Monday, a hospital spokesperson told the Observer.

Warrants charging Frazier will be served when she’s released from the hospital, police said.

The couples’ death is a major loss for the family, Lockhart said, but it gives her and her sisters solace to know that her parents were taken together.

“That gives us comfort, knowing that they’re still together,” Lockhart said. “They were always together and they’re still together.”

LaVendrick Smith: @LaVendrickS
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