RALEIGH — Ormond and Gaynell Bailey went to the early service at New Hope Baptist Church on Sunday with plans to get a bite to eat afterward.
They had altered their usual routine of going to the 11 a.m. service, church members said, so they could get home in time to watch the final matchup of this year’s ACC basketball tournament.
Ormond, 83, and Gaynell, 79, never got to see the game.
At 1:18 p.m., Raleigh police say, Ray Norman Rouse IV was driving his 2008 Kia in the wrong direction in an eastbound lane of Wade Avenue, near the Glenwood Avenue intersection that leads to the Cameron Village shopping center.
Ormond Bailey, 83, was driving his 2002 Mercury east in that lane, and his wife was in the passenger seat.
There was a head-on collision, according to police. An off-duty paramedic and his wife were among the first to stop to try to help, according to a tape of a 911 call.
“There were two sedans. It was a head-on. The guy was in the wrong lane driving down the road,” a woman who said she was the wife of the paramedic told an emergency dispatcher.
The caller described a dreadful scene. At least one person was pinned in the mangled wreck as smoke began to spew.
“This is not good,” she said frantically.
The Baileys were rushed to WakeMed, where they died Sunday afternoon from their injuries, according to police.
Rouse, 34, a Raleigh resident who grew up in Goldsboro, went to UNC-Chapel Hill and worked as a co-director of Ed McKay’s Used Books and More on Capital Boulevard. He also was transported to WakeMed. On Monday, he was listed in critical condition.
Police said they plan to charge Rouse, of Trout Stream Drive in Raleigh, with driving while impaired and driving the wrong way on a dual-lane highway once he is released from the hospital.
Prosecutors also plan to serve Rouse with two warrants charging him with felony death by motor vehicle.
It was unclear late Monday where Rouse had been on St. Patrick’s Day or how he got onto Wade Avenue going the wrong direction. But he had a history of drunk-driving charges.
Rouse has been charged three times in the past with driving while impaired — in Durham in 2001, in Wake County in 2005 and in Durham again in 2006.
Rouse was found guilty in 2001 in Durham, and his driver’s license was revoked briefly.
His Wake County case was dismissed in 2005, according to court records, when a Morrisville police officer failed to show for the hearing. The 2006 Durham case, according to court records, was dismissed by a judge after prosecutors presented their evidence.
WTVD on Monday aired a segment it taped a year ago at Raleigh’s St. Patrick’s Day parade that featured Rouse. In the segment, he discouraged people from drinking and driving “especially on St. Patrick’s Day, which is a beer-drinking time.”
As law enforcement officers continued their investigation Monday, members of New Hope Baptist Church and family and friends of the Baileys mourned the loss of the couple. Many were too grief-stricken to talk about the Baileys, who came to Raleigh more than a half-century ago.
Gaynell Batton Bailey was born in April 1933 in Franklin County, the daughter of the late Albert Batton and Hattie Fuller Batton.
Ormond Jackson Bailey was born three and a half years earlier, in November 1929, in Franklin County. He was the son of the late Sidney Ernest Bailey and Mary Harris Bailey.
The two went to the same school in Bunn, according to Carolyn Bogey, a Knightdale resident who has been a close friend of the Baileys for nearly three decades.
Coming to Raleigh
They came to Raleigh in their early 20s looking for jobs and have been in the capital city ever since, according to Bogey.
Gaynell Bailey worked for International Paper Company for 21 years and later retired from Ajinomoto, a Japanese-based company that produces amino acids for pharmaceuticals and food products. Ormond Bailey worked for International Paper Company for many years and later retired from Telex Terminal Communication.
They both were active members of New Hope Baptist. In recent years, they enjoyed the many programs and activities provided by Keenagers, a church group for seniors that takes day trips and invites speakers.
At the church and among friends, the Baileys were remembered as a couple who cherished their friends and family — their grown children, Donna Bailey Lewis and her husband, William, of Raleigh; Jackie Glenn Bailey and his wife, Amy, of Youngsville, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“They were people you’d want as your best friend,” Bogey said.