A Gaston County pastor died after the garbage truck he was driving hit a train near Lowell on Monday afternoon.
The death came just two days after a Gaston County business owner and lay minister died after being struck by lightning near the Blue Ridge Parkway, according to news reports.
Scott Pasour of Dallas, owner of Pasour Auto Repair and a lay minister at Venture Church, was on a motorcycle trip with two other riders at Mount Mitchell. Just before getting on the Blue Ridge Parkway at about 1 p.m., they stopped to put on rain gear. The men with Pasour told the Gaston Gazette that they hadn’t heard thunder or seen lightning until a bolt struck Pasour’s helmet.
In Monday’s wreck, the garbage truck appeared to have caught fire after the collision in the 2700 block of Lowell Road. There are no railroad crossing arms where the collision occurred.
Rev. Andrew Rollinson, pastor of New Bethesda Tabernacle Church in Charlotte, comforted Collins’ family Monday night.
“I’ve cried,” Rollinson said. “I’m still crying. You can feel the family’s pain. It is hard not to feel their pain if you’re really just right there. This is a close-knit family and they have touched many lives.”
Rollinson said Collins was a loving husband and father. “It’s just so sad that this had happened to him,” Rollinson said.
Several neighbors told WBTV they heard and felt an explosion.
“I was in the house washing my hair, and I heard a loud boom,” Alyssa Payne said. “We ran down there, it exploded right in front of us.”
Because of how close homes are to the track, Payne said she feels lucky she was not hurt from the explosion.
Charlotte Observer Staff Writer Joe Marusak contributed.
WBTV is a news partner of The Charlotte Observer.