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2 dead in Idaho car crash; 4 LDS Church missionaries injured

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Apr 25th, 2018 @ 10:31pm



PRESTON, Idaho — Four LDS Church missionaries from the Utah Logan Mission were involved in a crash on Wednesday in which two other people died, officials said.

Franklin, Idaho, residents L. Max Richards, 83, and Phyllis Richards, 80, died in the crash that took place a few miles north of the Utah-Idaho border, Idaho State Police officials said in an emailed statement.

All the missionaries survived and are expected to recover from the crash, according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokesman Daniel Woodruff.

Elder Charly Sistrunk, 67, and Sister Debra Owens Sistrunk, 62, of Preston, as well as Elder Elijah Wall, 19, and Elder William Wilson, 18, of Kentucky, were involved in the crash on U.S. Highway 91 about 3 miles south of Preston, ISP officials said.

About 12:46 p.m. Wednesday, Max Richards was southbound on the highway in a Jeep when he tried to make a left turn onto Cub River Road, ISP officials said. Richards turned in front of a Ford Edge that contained the other four people, officials said.

The Ford hit the Jeep on the passenger side, and the Jeep came to rest in the middle of the roadway, officials said. Max and Phyllis Richards were declared dead at the scene.

The four missionaries were taken to Franklin County Medical Center by ambulance, and Debra Sistrunk was later transported to a Pocatello hospital by helicopter, officials said.

Everyone involved in the crash was wearing a seatbelt except for Wilson, ISP officials said.

The highway was partially blocked for about four hours after the crash as investigators processed the scene, ISP said. Idaho State Police are still investigating the crash.

“Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones at this tragic time,” Woodruff said in an emailed statement.


Jacob Klopfenstein

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