Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Two missionaries killed, one injured, in Texas accident

We were saddened to learn of a tragic accident yesterday evening involving three Mormon missionaries. Two of the missionaries, Elder Trevor Reinhold Strong, 21, of Taylorsville, Utah, and Elder Derek Jason Walker, 20, of Fairfield, Idaho, were killed when they were struck by an automobile while riding their bikes in Donna, Texas. A third, Elder Zachary Todd Harris, 19, of Huntsville, Alabama, was seriously injured in the accident. The latest reports indicate that Elder Harris has been released from the hospital. The three occupants of the vehicle fled the scene on foot. The driver turned himself in this morning, while the search for the two passengers continues.

The Church released the following statement about this tragedy:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the missionaries involved in this tragic incident. We pray that they will be comforted as they mourn the loss of their loved ones, who served others selflessly as missionaries.
We also extend our thoughts and prayers to the Strong and Walker families, whose sons dedicated their lives to a service they loved. We also pray for the full recovery of Elder Harris.

As parents of a missionary serving not far from these young men, we cannot imagine the pain the loss of a missionary son or daughter would bring. Words do not provide meaningful relief. But the knowledge of the Lord's love for us may ease a loved one's suffering. We know that He suffered all things for us, that He might strengthen us in our times of need.
 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
(Alma 7:11-12.) The Savior's mercy will undoubtedly be with the families of these fine young men.

The Church has published a statement on missionary safety on its website.

News coverage can be found online:

Pictures from the LDS Church News may be seen after the jump.

Elder Trevor Reinhold Strong

Elder Derek Jason Walker

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