Missionaries killed by hit and run remembered

Two young men dedicating themselves to spreading their church TMs message in the Rio Grande Valley are being remembered by their fellow missionaries.

They are a common sight on Valley streets young missionaries dressed in white shirts, dark slacks and a tie riding their bicycles into neighborhoods as part of their service to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sharing their beliefs with those who will listen.

Now two of those young men are gone, tragically killed when a car slammed into them Tuesday night in Donna.

"We were notified that there'd been a very tragic accident and it was life threatening," said the mission TMs president Steven Trayner.

Trayner said 21-year-old Elder Trevor Reinhold Strong of Utah, 20-year-old Elder Derek Jason Walker of Idaho, and 19- year-old Elder Zachary Harris had just met with a family in Donna.

"They were on their way to yet another appointment later that evening when they were struck by an oncoming vehicle and all three missionaries were struck by the car and two of the elders-the missionaries passed away from their injuries," said Trayner.

He said Harris survived the accident but saw one of his fellow missionary's body fall right next to him as the three were struck.

"He'll receive some counseling to deal with the emotional consequences and the rest of the wounds should heal in due time," said Trayner.

Other members of the church will also be offered counseling if needed.

"Local leaders of those units will certainly make counseling available and the church provides counseling from professional counselors to the members who may need it," he said.

Missionaries continued their work despite the tragedy getting their bicycles ready for the road in silence and memory of their fallen friends.

It's all they can do to come to grips with the loss of two well-respected young men just fulfilling their duty.

The driver of the car initially fled on foot but turned himself into authorities-charges are pending.

The church plans to have a memorial for the two men.

They said plans are not set yet, but it could be as soon as this weekend.