Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Andrew Page, passed away from complications after a car struck him while he was riding his bicycle.
“Elder Andrew Edward Page, age 18, from Charlotte, North Carolina, serving in the California Arcadia Mission since August, 2013, died from injuries he sustained when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle,” said Ruth Todd, a spokesperson for the Church. “Every member is deeply saddened and grieves at the death of a missionary. We unite our prayers and love in behalf of Elder Page’s family, friends and missionary companions.”
Gina Bennett, a member of the Church living in the Arcadia mission, said she is heartbroken by the accident.
A recent change in the status of missionary transportation in the Arcadia mission has Bennett concerned. Earlier this year, missionary vehicles were mostly taken out of the Arcadia mission, making use of public transportation and other means priorities in missionary transportation.
Taking public transportation, walking and riding bicycles can be very dangerous depending on where the missionaries are serving, Bennett said.
This event is likely to strike a heartfelt chord with Southern California members, said Jared Halpin, a former missionary in the California Arcadia mission.
“Missionaries have always been in an elevated status, so when one dies it’s always a significant event. I think in general (the members) seem to be close with the missionaries,” Haplin said. “I think that bike safety is underemphasized in America in general.”
The California Arcadia mission covers the San Gabriel Valley as well as eastern Los Angeles County, the location where the missionary was struck by the vehicle.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.