Gospel Sing benefits accident victim

Published 9:27 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

AHOSKIE – As former Ahoskie native Joseph Williams continues to heal from injuries sustained in a May 2 accident that nearly claimed his life, family members and friends are persistent in an effort to help.

That effort has produced plans for a gospel concert, scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 at Ahoskie Christian Center (NC 42 West; next door to Garrett-Jones Funeral Home). Admission is free; a love offering will be collected on Williams’ behalf.

During the May 2 accident, Williams – better known to his family and friends as “Little Joe” – was seriously injured while changing a tire on a vehicle parked along the shoulder of US 29 in Greensboro. A vehicle crashed into Williams’ car, pinning the 19-year-old between the vehicle and a guardrail.

Williams’ injuries were severe, especially to one of his legs which doctors at Greensboro’s Moses Cone Hospital were later forced to perform a partial amputation. He also suffered a broken neck as well as other injuries.

“He’s been through a lot, but he’s a determined young man,” said Williams’ aunt, Tammy Mizelle of Ahoskie. “He is so determined that he vowed to graduate on time from Southeast Guilford High School. He did just that, going across the stage in a wheelchair to receive his diploma.”

Mizelle said the family thanks everyone for all their prayers and donations.

“Little Joe will be here on August 15 for the concert,” she said. “He is looking forward to seeing everyone and personally thanking them for all they have done on his behalf.”

Several local groups have already volunteered their time for the concert. They include The Golden Harmoneers of Mapleton, the Ahoskie Christian Center Choir, The Keepers of Faith and Christy Crews.

“We need to thank Pastor Dan Smith and the Ahoskie Christian Center for all their help in helping us stage this concert,” Mizelle said.

For those wishing to make a donation, but are unable to attend the Aug. 15 concert, the Joseph L. Williams Benefit Account has been set-up at Southern Bank in Ahoskie. All donations are welcomed.

Williams is a native of Hertford County, living with his grandparents, Rudolph and Dorothy Williams of Ahoskie, while attending Hertford County High School. He remained at HCHS through the 10th grade before moving with an aunt and uncle, Tarsha and Randolph Howard, to Greensboro.

Two other Hertford County natives were with Williams on the night of the accident. Tierra Outlaw and Travis Cofield were both injured, but have been released from the hospital.

Outlaw, the daughter of Janice and Colie Stephenson of Murfreesboro, is a 2008 HCHS graduate. She now attends Guilford Community College in Greensboro. At the time of the accident, she was inside the vehicle that Williams was changing the tire.

Cofield, the son of Mary Cofield of Ahoskie and Matthew Eley (his stepmother is Sarah Eley) of Murfreesboro, was standing outside the vehicle at the time of the crash. He was in Greensboro visiting family and friends.

The families of Outlaw and Cofield passed along their thanks for all the prayers and support for their respective children involved in the accident.