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One LDS missionary ‘very critical,’ another injured in Idaho crash

By Bob Mims

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Sep 04 2013 09:23 am • Last Updated Sep 05 2013 09:39 pm

One Mormon missionary was on life support and another injured in a two-vehicle collision Tuesday in southeastern Idaho.

Idaho State Police initially reported that Taylor Ward, 19 of Vacaville, Calif., had died of injuries in the crash. However, Brenda Stahley, a spokeswoman at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, insisted late Wednesday morning that the missionary was still alive — although barely so.

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"He is in very critical condition and on life support in our Intensive Care Unit at this time," Stahley said.

Ruth Todd, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, added that Ward was "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," Todd added.

Meanwhile, John Floyd, a 20-year-old LDS missionary from Deep Run, N.C., was discharged Wednesday at Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot, Idaho. He is recovering from numerous scrapes and bruises.

ISP said the accident occurred just before 6 p.m. Tuesday on State Highway 39 near Rockford, when the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze driven by Floyd allegedly failed to yield at a stop sign at the intersection with 100 South in Bingham County.

The Cruze was struck on the passenger side by a 2010 Ford F-350 pickup truck. The 23-year-old Blackfoot driver of the pickup was not seriously injured.

ISP said all occupants were wearing their seat belts.

Ten missionaries have died this year, according to an LDS church news release.

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Twitter: @remims

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