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Fatal wreck victim identified

AHOSKIE – The migrant worker killed in a motor vehicle accident on July 15 has been identified.

Sgt. C. L. Herring of the North Carolina Highway Patrol office in Ahoskie said the victim was Adan Renovata Silva, 46, of Mexico. He was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 22-year-old Jonathan Sanchez Valencia of Ahoskie that collided with a train at the Hall Siding crossing.

At the time of the initial investigation of the accident by NCHP Trooper S.C. Hegmann, the victim was only known by his nickname – Louie.

“Our follow-up investigation in an effort to identify the deceased passenger was somewhat difficult due to the fact that the victim was from another country and did not possess any sort of personnel identification,” Sgt. Herring stated. “The other workers on the same farm only knew him by Louie.”

Herring said those workers were extremely helpful in discovering “Louie’s” true identity.

“They were able to locate a few phone numbers on his cell phone that were used to contact family members in Mexico,” Herring stated. “The family told the workers that Mr. Silva had an older brother living in Florida. That individual, along with some cousins from the Greensboro area, came to Ahoskie and made the identification of the deceased.”

Valencia was charged by Hegmann with felony death by motor vehicle, DWI, reckless driving, no operator’s license, and two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle.

Hegmann said Valencia and two other passengers – 55-year-old Pedro Garcia and 20-year-old Alex Gomez Lopez, both of Ahoskie – were seriously injured. All three were transported by Hertford County EMS to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie.

Valencia was operating a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer eastbound on Hall Siding Road at the time of the crash, which was reported at 8:07 p.m.

Trooper Hegmann’s accident report showed that the SUV initially ran off the right side of the road at which time the driver lost control as the vehicle went into a sideways skid. It then struck the third car of the northbound train, owned and operated by North Carolina-Virginia Railroad.

Hegmann said all warning lights at the rail crossing were activated as the train crossed Hall Siding Road. That crossing does not have drop-down gates.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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