Townville community mourns couple killed in I-85 crash

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TOWNVILLE, S.C. (WPSA) – A deadly crash on Thursday afternoon along I-85 in Cherokee County is sending shockwaves through Townville, where two of the crash victims lived.

The Cherokee County Coroner’s Office said 58-year-old Thomas Newman McElroy and 60-year-old Ruth Ann McElroy were the victims killed in the eight vehicle crash, which involved two tractor-trailers. South Carolina Highway Patrol said a tractor-trailer crashed into five other vehicles, causing a chain reaction. The McElroys’ died at the scene.

“We had heard about the accident, but we didn’t know who was involved, and once we did, we were all in shock and just deeply grieved because they are just a precious precious couple,” said Karen Taylor, member of Oakdale Baptist Church.

The McElroy’s were in Taylor’s Sunday School class.

“They were just very loving. They loved their family. They were just a very giving couple. Just a sweet sweet couple. They just loved life,” Taylor said.

On Friday, Taylor and members of Oakdale Baptist Church, gathered food to take to the family. Taylor said the McElroys’ were regular attendees at the church for more than a year.

“He would go to York. He would preach. He would fill in for a friend. So, he was very involved in the ministry as well,” Taylor said.

Investigators said another victim from Virginia, also died in the crash. The coroner’s office said 60-year-old Karen Marie Goggin was the passenger in a Ford Focus. The driver of the Ford Focus was sent to the hospital with injuries.

“I’ve traveled through that area where this happened, and it’s very scary in that single lane. I won’t be going through it anytime soon,” Taylor said.

Now Taylor, their church family, and the Townville community are left grieving.

“I’ve spoken with several. They’re all in shock. Just absolutely in shock to lose both of them so tragically,” Taylor said. “We’re going to miss them greatly. Super couple.”

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