Police indicated that Garza told them he was having problems with his headlights, which he said kept flickering on and off. Garza has been arrested and charged on two counts of Accident Causing Injury or Death. The two passengers have also been questioned and released.
In Fairfield, Idaho, Walker's father said the family learned of the tragedy Tuesday night.
"He was a tremendous individual," said Jason Walker, Derek's father, on Wednesday. "He loved to smile, laugh and love life."
Jason Walker is president of the Fairfield Branch, a smaller LDS congregation. He said his heart also went out to the families of the other two missionaries involved in the accident.
Derek still had 10 months to go on his mission. He is survived by his father, his mother Cynthia Walker, two brothers and two sisters. He was the oldest of his siblings. One of his brothers is currently a freshman at BYU.
President Michael Owsley of the Wendell Idaho Stake said the Walker family moved to the Fairfield, Idaho, area just four years ago, and the family — especially Elder Walker — had already made a huge difference there.
"This young man was a wonderful example to the entire community," Owsley said. "He showed them what a great young LDS man should be."
Owsley also mentioned the special training the missionaries had participated in that day. "His mission president told me that Elder Walker had just been made senior companion, and he volunteered to make a presentation during the training, and that he did a great job with his presentation," Owsley said. "It doesn't surprise me to learn that he was a top-notch missionary. That's the kind of young man he was — absolutely top-notch."
Owsley said that while there are broken hearts in Fairfield today, there is also rejoicing in the faithful life of a great young man. "He loved football," Owsley said. "He loved bike-riding. He loved serving. He loved his mission. There are those here who are saying that he left this world doing the two of the things he loved most: riding his bike and serving the Lord."
The LDS Church issued the following statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the missionaries involved in this tragic incident. We pray that they will be comforted as they mourn the loss of their loved ones, who served others selflessly as missionaries."
Contributing: Chris Moore, Sandra Yi and Tad Walch
- LDS dad among finalists for Doritos Super...
- At BYU, Catholic archbishop seeks friends,...
- LDS mission president's wife dies
- Faith, friends and football: Stanford...
- Family motto helps LDS couple put parenting...
- See why this woman's decision not to bake a...
- Hamblin & Peterson: Bible wars among...
- Book review: Young widow's memoir presents a...
- LDS missionary collapses, dies during... 28
- See why this woman's decision not to... 26
- At BYU, Catholic archbishop seeks... 20
- Defending the Faith: A tribute to... 15
- LDS mission president's wife dies 14
- Why the world needs rich Christians 13
- Hamblin & Peterson: Bible wars among... 13
- Religious response to postponed... 10