Utah missionary killed after car accident in Arkansas

Jake Smith (Courtesy: Smith Family)

SALT LAKE CITY — A 19-year-old Utah missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was killed after a traffic accident. The crash occurred Thursday night near Rosebud, Arkansas.

Church spokesman Sam Penrod said Jake Smith, from Lehi, was one of four missionaries traveling in a vehicle. The three others were also injured.

Jake Smith (Courtesy: Smith Family)

Arkansas’ KAIT 8 in reported the crash happened at 8:29 p.m. Smith and the other missionaries were traveling in a Chevy Malibu, when a GMC Acadia, driving in the opposite direction, crossed the center line and collided with them.

According to the preliminary fatal crash summary, the road was wet, and the weather conditions were cloudy at the time of the collision.

The other three missionaries in the vehicle were injured but are expected to recover. McKay Jurges of West Jordan, Utah, sustained serious injuries and remains hospitalized. Gavin Hatch of Cedar Hills, Utah, and Eli Sutherland of San Diego, California, both sustained minor injuries.

Smith had been serving as a missionary since Aug. 2019.

Penrod said, “We pray for all of them as they recover. We also express our sincere condolences to the family of Elder Smith and to all the missionaries of the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.


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