Wednesday, September 4, 2013

LDS Missionary Taylor Shane Ward Critically Injured In Idaho Car Crash, Passes On After Three Days On Life Support

A missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints has been critically injured in an Idaho car crash and the initial prognosis was grim. Just before 6 P.M. on Tuesday September 3rd, 2013, Elder John Floyd, 20, of Deep Run, N.C., was driving west with his companion Elder Taylor Shane Ward, 19, of Vacaville, CA in a 2013 Chevrolet Cruze on Idaho State Route 39. Elder Floyd failed to yield at a stop sign located where the highway intersects with 100 South in Rockford in Bingham County. Although KSL Channel 5 reports that Floyd's car collided with the passenger side of a southbound Ford F-350 pickup truck driven by Joshua Morris, 23, of Blackfoot, the photo provided above indicates that it is more likely that the pickup truck slammed into the passenger side of the sedan, where Elder Ward was a passenger. KSTU Channel 13 confirms that the car was struck on the passenger side by the truck. In any event, the fact that Elder Floyd ran the stop sign is not in dispute.

Update September 7th: LDS church officials announced on Friday September 6th that Elder Ward died of his injuries.

A photo of Elder Ward is available from KTVX Channel 4.

But one person posting a comment to the Deseret News does dispute some of the technical details of the story. Einar writes "The description of the accident as outlined in the article does not make sense. It states that the Elders were traveling on Route 39 and collided with a car traveling on 100 south, and that the Elders failed to yield at a stop sign. There is no stop sign on route 39 at the intersection of 100 south. The stop signs are on 100 south. Also the article states that the pick-up was traveling south on 100 south, but 100 south runs east west"... Kanakattack posts a similar comment on KSL. KSL news video below:

Elder Ward was on life support at Portneuf Medical Center until family members decided upon organ donation. Morris was treated at the scene and sent on his way, while Elder Floyd was treated for his injuries at Bingham Memorial Hospital and released Wednesday morning. Police report all three were wearing seat belts. LDS spokeswoman Ruth Todd issued the following statement:

“He is currently on life support and is not expected to live. Every member of the church feels the loss of a missionary. We are deeply saddened, and share with his family, friends and fellow missionaries in their grief. We extend to them our love, our prayers and our deepest sympathy."

Many commenters note the sudden upsurge in missionary deaths this year, seven as of this post, and wonder what's going on. A sampling:

patriot Cedar Hills, UT 11:20 a.m. Sept. 4, 2013 (Deseret News):
what in the world is going on with missionary safety? Every week we read about some new tragedy. If he is on life support it looks grim ...but miracles do happen. Hope for a miracle here.

Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA 11:42 a.m. Sept. 4, 2013 (Deseret News):
Three reasons you're hearing more about missionary injuries:

1. They're being more widely reported. When I was a missionary my comp was shot in the back by a stray bullet from a nearby gang battle - it wasn't in the Deseret News.
2. More missionaries drive cars than before. As you know, cars are by far the most dangerous form of transportation around.
3. There are more missionaries in general. When you double the number of missionaries, you can expect to double the number of injuries.

1 comment:

Colleen C. Harrison said...
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