A&L Mini Mart owner dies; woman hurt in Faith Road crash

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
A head-on collision on Faith Road Thursday afternoon killed a 70-year-old Faith man and hospitalized a Salisbury woman.
According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Alfred Fink was pronounced dead at the scene after a van crossed the center line, colliding with Fink’s blue Dodge van. Fink is a well-known Faith resident and owner of A&L Mini Mart.
The other driver, 22-year-old Jazmein Parker, was initially sent by ambulance to Rowan Regional Medical Center, but was later airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Parker, of 912 Hawkinstown Road, was listed in fair condition Thursday night.
Steve Daniels, who was following two cars behind Fink, sat down and sobbed when emergency personnel pronounced Fink dead at the scene.
Daniels said he called 911 immediately and climbed into the woman’s white van because she was screaming and crying.
“I was calling 911 because I knew they’d need to get here immediately,” Daniels said. “It was head-on.”
Daniels described the wreck, which happened at about 12:45 p.m., as being in “slow motion” and said the accident looked like something out of a movie.
“Both vehicles went way up in the air — they looked like they were 10 feet in the air,” Daniels said. “I don’t know what kept his van from not flipping over.”
Daniels said he regrets not trying CPR on Fink, but said he went to help the woman because she was hanging upside down by her legs.
“I should have started CPR, but I didn’t know how bad that woman was,” Daniels said.
The Highway Patrol said the woman appeared to have significant injuries to her legs. Parker told authorities she ran off the road on the right side and overcorrected, crossing the center line and hitting Fink’s van.
Daniels said he supported the woman on his back in the van until emergency crews arrived.
Several neighbors on the scene, along with Daniels, watched Thursday afternoon as emergency crews hustled to use hydraulic cutters to free the woman from her van.
After learning the man’s identity at the scene, Daniels said he remembered meeting him several times.
“He was one of the best men you’d ever meet,” he said.
Johnny Love, a Salisbury mechanic and president of the Rowan County Fair Association, said he knew Fink through an employee who is engaged to Fink’s daughter.
“He was a truly great fellow,” Love said. “I know him quite well. It’s tough.”
An employee at A&L declined to comment Thursday evening. Customers outside A&L said they knew Fink well, but also declined to comment.
The Highway Patrol said there were no skid marks, indicating neither driver hit the brakes. The Highway Patrol said charges are pending.
Reporter Karissa Minn contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246 or nhardin@salisburypost.com.
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