LUMBERTON — Information was difficult to get this morning and sketchy, but it appears that Hurricane Matthew has resulted directly or indirectly in four deaths in Robeson County, and that number is likely to rise as some people are considered missing.
Charles Ivey, a 76-year-old Lumberton resident who lived on West Fifth Street, died when he fell into water at his home on West Fifth Street on Monday and was unable to recover.
His son-in-law, Bruce Mullis, a Lumberton banker, and Ivey’s daughter, Barbara, an employee at the Sheriff’s Office, were en route to pick up Ivey and his wife Wanda when they learned of his death. Bruce Mullis said the family believes he might have had a heart attack, as he was on oxygen but had been without since power was lost.
Lumberton rescue people were able to get to his body.
Ivey, who used to own a plumbing business, was well known in that community and an active member of West Lumberton Baptist Church.
Barbara Mullis, while thanking people for condolences and those who saved her mother and were able to retrieve her father’s body, included this in a Faceook post: “… I know I will surely miss my dad in the days to come as will the people at West Lumberton Baptist Church and so many of his friends/relatives and so many more that knew him over the years that he worked in plumbing and electrical sales.”
In addition, The Robesonian has learned of three more deaths, but no details were available, including names of those involved. A person was reportedly shot and killed in a confrontation with a law enforcement officer, a store owner in the Godwin Heights area of Lumberton shot and killed someone who was looting his store, and a person died in a traffic accident related to conditions caused by the storm.
According to Kellie Blue, the finance officer for the county who is providing information to the public, three people are missing who were in two separate vehicles on N.C. 211. Blue said two girls were in one vehicle that is missing, and a woman is missing after her husband was rescued from a truck on N.C.211 but she was not.
Additionally, there was a truck on Smith Mill Pond Road that went missing and is believed to have been occupied by at least one person.
None of the names of those missing were being released.
Blue is working out of a command center on Legend Road, near the county jail that is working around the clock