Two Mormon missionaries killed in Texas, third taken to hospital

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 8 2011 11:10 p.m. MST

DONNA, Texas — Two LDS missionaries were killed while riding their bikes in this southeast Texas town Tuesday and a third was critically injured in the same apparent hit-and-run accident.

Elder Trevor Reinhold Strong, 21, of Taylorsville, and Elder Derek Jason Walker, 20, of Fairfield, Idaho, were killed in the accident that happened around 7:30 p.m., the LDS Church confirmed Tuesday evening. Elder Zachary Todd Harris, 19, of Huntsville, Ala., was taken to a nearby hospital. He is expected to recover.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Elder Harris and the family, friends and loved ones of Elder Strong and Elder Walker," said Scott Trotter, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "We pray that the Lord will comfort and watch over them during this difficult time."

Trooper Johnny Hernandez with Texas Highway Patrol said the missionaries were riding northbound on Midway South St., which is not too far from a major highway, when a vehicle traveling southbound hit all three head-on.

The driver of the vehicle and two passengers allegedly fled the scene on foot and authorities were using helicopters in their search, Hernandez said.

Updates will be posted as they become available.

Molly Farmer, Twitter: mollyfarmer

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