NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - One person is confirmed dead after a crash on Little River Neck Road, according to North Myrtle Beach Batallion Chief Dustin Overholser.
Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard said Andrew Helmick, 25, died at the scene of truamatic injuries. Helmick had recently moved to North Myrtle Beach from Virginia.
Overholser said his vehicle ran off the road multiple times and struck the wall of Macedonia A.M.E. Church.
Fire and emergency crews arrived on scene at 3 a.m.
Church members are on the scene. No services or events will be held until the church building is inspected.
NMB Police are assisting in the investigation.
North Myrtle Beach police and fire rescue spent several hours on scene trying to figuring out how Helmick crashed into the Macedonia A.M.E. church.
For 80 years, every Sunday people have come to worship at the church. Now, that place of worship is in pieces.
"We were all asleep in the house and my grandmother was coming from the laundry mat. And so that's when she stopped and came and banged on the door really hard and that's when we jumped up, ran to the road to see what happened," said church member Zoriah Greene.
Zoriah Greene and her grandmother live right across the street from the church.
"She said that he was driving really fast and then ran off the road and hit the side of the church," Greene said.
According to North Myrtle Beach first responders, the car overturned, crashed through a fence and flipped multiple times right before hitting the church. It was a terrifying scene for neighbors who saw it all.
"It was awful, that's all I could say when I got here," said church member Eddy Stevenson.
Parishioners say it's not the first time someone has died near there.
"This is about the second incident with someone getting killed at this church because right by that light pole a young man lost his life right there, and then another one hit our church sign and tore it down," said Eddy Stephenson.
Skid marks and pieces from the car still remain on the church ground, telling the story what happened hours before.
"We goin' to have to do some repairs to get everything back on track again," Stephenson said.
While a lot of people gathered to try and put puzzle pieces together, the church family's faith isn't broken.
"We just ask for people's prayers that we stay together and keep doing what we're supposed to do," Stephenson said.
Members do not know if they'll be able to have church this Sunday.
The people said drivers underestimate the curve on the Little River Neck Road until it's too late. That's why they're asking for warning signs to be installed before someone else is killed.