An 18-year-old missionary from Utah and his companion were killed in a car accident in Texas on Tuesday, according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Luke Masakazu Carter, from Springville, and 20-year-old Eli Jon Fowler, from Pueblo West, Colo., were killed in a head-on collision in Denton, Texas, according to a church news release.
Carter had been serving in the Texas Fort Worth Mission since November; Fowler since January 2020.
The collision, which happened during a heavy rainstorm, is under investigation by police. According to church spokesperson Sam Penrod, both missionaries were wearing seat belts.
The driver of the other car was hospitalized; no other information about that motorist was immediately available.
“We express our love and deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Elder Carter and Elder Fowler and to the missionaries in the Texas Fort Worth Mission,” Penrod said in the release. “We pray that all will be uplifted by the Savior’s love and feel comfort during this difficult and trying time.”
A total of seven Latter-day Saints have lost their lives while serving missions for their church this year.
In January, a 24-year-old elder serving in his home country of Haiti died after being admitted to a hospital with “health complications”; a 19-year-old elder from Utah was killed in a car crash in Arkansas; and a 20-year-old Nigerian serving a mission in his homeland died after a “sudden health episode (unrelated to COVID-19).”
In March, a 21-year-old missionary drowned in his homeland of El Salvador, and a 48-year-old mission president in the Philippines died of an apparent heart attack.