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Latter-day Saint missionary dies in Arkansas crash that injured 3 others

Latter-day Saint missionary dies in Arkansas crash that injured 3 others

(Family photo via The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died in a car crash in Arkansas Thursday, church officials said Friday.

Elder Jake Smith, 19, of Lehi, was with three other missionaries when they got into a car crash near Rosebud, Arkansas.

Smith and three passengers were southbound on Arkansas State Highway 5 when a woman crossed the center line and collided with the driver's side, a local Arkansas news outlet reported.

Smith, who had been serving as a missionary since August of 2019, died from his injuries. The three other missionaries in the car were injured in the crash.

A missionary from West Jordan was hospitalized after suffering serious injuries in the crash, and two other missionaries — one from Cedar Hills and another from California — suffered minor injuries. All three men are expected to recover from their injuries, according to church spokesman Sam Penrod.

"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," Penrod said in a statement. "We pray they will each feel the Savior's love and comfort during this difficult time."

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Lauren Bennett is a reporter with KSL.com who covers Utah’s religious community and the growing tech sector in the Beehive State.

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