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Police and church officials confirmed that an LDS missionary from Utah died Tuesday in a car crash in Pennsylvania.
Three other missionaries were injured in the collision.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints identified the woman as Sadie Danielle Wells, 20, of Kaysville. The crash was reported shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in Monroe Township, Pa. after a school bus ran a stop sign and hit a car that Wells was in, according to Penn Live, a local newspaper.
Two of the missionaries, Sister Douglas and Faamaile are in the Hershey Medical Center with minor bruising and broken ribs and will be released tomorrow. The other missionary, Sister Young, had two surgeries, broken bones and is currently in intensive care, but is in a stable condition. Only the last names of the sisters were provided at this time.
Wells was serving her 18 month mission in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission since May 2015. She had previously been a student at Utah Valley University.
Wells’ family expressed their sorrow for the loss of their daughter in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our daughter and sister, Sadie Danielle Wells. We will miss her smile and vibrant, fun-loving personality. Our concern is for her mission companion and the other sister missionaries involved in the accident, and we pray for them and their families.
“Sadie loved life and loved being a missionary. Her letters home were filled with her vibrant personality, love for the people of Pennsylvania, love of the gospel and love for her Savior, Jesus Christ.
“We draw comfort from the belief that Sadie is with her Heavenly Father and that she continues the Lord’s work with the same vigor and enthusiasm that she did in life. Sadie ended each of her emails with the words of a favorite Primary song, “Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.” We ask all to pay tribute to Sadie by living their lives this way.”
President Bradley Johnson of the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission sent a statement to missionaries who are currently serving in the mission on Tuesday about the accident. He called Wells one of their “very best” missionaries.
“As representatives of Jesus Christ we know that Sister Wells was ‘transferred’ to an even better place. But that does not eliminate the pain and suffering of losing one we loved. Sister Wells was an exceptional young woman. She touched all who knew her with her kindness, love and fervent testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Church spokeswoman Kristen Howey also released a statement following the crash that read:
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Sister Sadie Danielle Wells, 20, of the Kaysville Utah Stake, who died in a car accident this afternoon, February 9, in Monroe Township, Pa. Sister Wells was serving in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission since May 2015.
“Three other sister missionaries were also in the vehicle and are currently receiving medical care for non-life-threatening injuries. We pray for the injured sisters and for the families of all four sisters at this difficult time. We extend our sincerest sympathies to the Wells family for the loss of their daughter, and to other loved ones, friends, and fellow missionaries who were blessed by her friendship and example.”
The 68-year-old driver, Edmund Clapper of Mechanicsburg, was identified by police. While the bus carried 32 students, only one was taken to Holy Spirit Hospital for treatment of a minor injury according to Penn Live. Police are investigating the crash. David Schrantz, Vice President of Rohrer Bus released a statement concerning the bus accident shortly after.
“In the more than thirty years we have worked with the Cumberland Valley School District, safety has always been and continues to be our top priority. While we cannot change what happened, we pledge out assistance in working with local authorities to understand what occured and are cooperating fully with law enforcement officials to aid their investigation.
“We are deeply grieved for the loss of life and injury and offer our sincere condolences to those affected by this tragedy.”