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Senior LDS missionary couple die from car crash

They were the second and third deaths this year of full-time missionaries for the Utah-based faith.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Latter-day Saint missionary couple Mary Hardin and her husband, Paul Hardin. They died from injuries in a car crash.

A senior missionary couple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were stopped at a red light in California’s Fresno County on Saturday evening when a pickup truck slammed into their vehicle at a “high rate of speed,” the Utah-based faith said Sunday.

Mary Hardin, 65, died at the scene, spokesperson Sam Penrod said in a news release. Paul Hardin was taken to a hospital Saturday and died from his injuries Monday, Penrod said in an update Tuesday.

“Our deepest sympathies and condolences go to the Hardin family with the tragic loss of these faithful missionaries,” Penrod wrote in Tuesday’s release. “We pray that all who are mourning will be blessed with strength and comforted in their faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.”

The Hardins, who hailed from San Antonio, had been laboring in the California Fresno Mission since January.

The deaths of the Hardins were the second and third publicly reported deaths of full-time Latter-day Saint missionaries this year.

In March, a 19-year-old proselytizer from Idaho died from a “sudden medical emergency” while serving in New Jersey.

Seven Latter-day Saint missionaries were known to have died in 2023 while filling volunteer proselytizing assignments for the 17.2 million-member church.