Kannapolos man injured in Friday accident worsens to critical

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Frank DeLoache and Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS ó Ruth and Ira Blockover could see their driveway and the front porch of their West C Street home when Ruth died.
Ira Von Blockover, who had been married to Ruth 45 years, remained in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast Wednesday, according to a hospital spokesman.
Funeral services for his wife will be conducted at 11 this morning at Westside Church of the Nazarene, and burial will follow at Carolina Memorial Park.
According to Kannapolis Police Officer E.B. Ashworth, a 2002 Mini Cooper driven by Johnny Joe Sain, of China Grove, crossed the center line Friday morning about 11 into the path of the Blockovers’ car.
Sain, 48, of 275 Fry St., China Grove, was driving east on C Street, and the Blockovers were driving west toward their home at 1302 W. C St., Ashworth said.
“They could see their driveway,” the officer said. “They could see their front porch.”
The left front headlight of Sain’s car hit the left front headlight of the Blockovers’ vehicle, Ashworth said. The officer said Ruth Anne Blockover “appeared to try to move off the road” before the collision.
She died in the accident, and her husband suffered a collapsed and bruised left lung, a sternal fracture and broken ribs on both sides. Though initially classified as serious, his condition had worsened by Wednesday.
Sain also was taken to CMC-NorthEast, where he received a number of stitches to his face, but he was released and placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under $250,000 bail.
Investigators took a sample of Sain’s blood at the hospital, and tests for alcohol level have not come back, Ashworth said.
According to the N.C. Department of Correction, Sain was convicted 20 years ago ó on Feb. 26, 1988 ó of driving while impaired in Mecklenburg County. He received probation, according to the Department of Correction Web site, and Ashworth said he’s not had a serious infraction since then.
Ashworth said speed also did not appear to be a factor in the accident. The posted speed along that section of C Street is 45 mph.
Sain is charged with driving while impaired, involuntary manslaughter, felonious serious injury by vehicle, drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving and driving left of center.
Ashworth said he’s still trying to piece together where Sain had been in the hours before the accident.
Members of Blockover family indicated they did not want to comment Wednesday.
Lady’s Funeral Home hosted visitation for friends Wednesday night.
Born June 19, 1946, in Cabarrus County, Ruth Blockover was a daughter of the late Earsel Floyd Hendrix.
According to the funeral home, she worked for Carpenter Industries in Concord and had previously worked for many years at Cannon Mills/Pillowtex, before it closed.
She was a member of Westside Church of the Nazarene. The couple’s minister, the Rev. Charles Savage, said he’s known them since 1970.
Survivors, in addition to her husband, include a daughter, Linda Anne Blevins, and her husband, Zane Wesley Blevins, of Kannapolis; sisters, Dotty Arnette, of China Grove, and Renee Sawyer, of Kannapolis; a brother, Billy Floyd, of China Grove; three grandchildren, Nikki Lynn Kilby, Tony Eugene Kilby and Kimberly Starr Kilby; and three great-grandchildren, McKenzie Pagelyn Kilby, Skyler Brandon Gardner and Natalye Nycole Carey.
The family asked that friends send memorials for Ruth Blockover to the Building Fund at Westside Church of the Nazarene, 4700 Rogers Lake Road, Kannapolis, NC 28081.
Contact Frank DeLoache at 704-797-4245 or fdeloache@salisburypost.com or Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.