WATTSVILLE — Community leaders today are mourning the loss of a retired Springville pastor and his wife following the couple’s death in a car wreck Tuesday morning.
Ed Massey, 85, and his wife, Helen “June” Massey, 83, of Ashville both died following a wreck that happened at 9:55 a.m. on U.S. 231 near the intersection with Old Coal City Road in Wattsville, about 2 miles north of Pell City, according to St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell said. The Masseys were both transported to UAB where they later died of their injuries. Helen was pronounced dead at 11:29 a.m. Tuesday; Ed, the former pastor of Springville First Baptist, was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m.
“He was always ready to lead people to our Creator,” St. Clair County Commissioner Paul Manning said. “It was a blessing to have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Ed Massey.”
Manning said he had seen Massey only a few days before the accident. He describes Ed as an active part of the community who was always willing to tell people about God.
Manning said the accident happened near his home and that his wife, Marie, who serves on the St. Clair County school board, was at the scene following the accident. He said they were both still in shock.
Alabama State Trooper Justin O’Neal said Ed Massey was driving southbound on 231 when his car suddenly veered into the northbound lane and collided head-on with another vehicle.
In a phone interview Wednesday, O’Neal speculated the crash could have been caused by a medical issue but said the investigation is ongoing.
Russell, the coroner, said he knew the former pastor as an acquaintance. He said Massey “was a real nice guy.”
Springville City Councilman Wayne Tucker said Ed Massey served as his pastor at Springville Baptist Church for two separate terms and that the Masseys were both dear family friends. Massey officiated the wedding for Tucker’s son several years ago.
Tucker said Ed Massey was an important part of the community. “Just about everyone around here knew him and loved him.”
The Rev. James Sampley, who previously served as the Massey’s pastor at Ashville First Baptist Church, said the couple were both deeply spiritual. Sampley mentioned how Ed Massey always worked to build up other ministers.
“I am grateful for the testimony he left behind,” Sampley said.
Manning, Sampley and Tucker all agreed that Massey was a man of humor, and all three made note of how Massey often told jokes and humorous stories.
“He was a genuinely great pastor and a great friend,” Tucker said.