LDS missionary 'stable' following hit-and-run accident in San Antonio

Published: Monday, May 13 2013 5:15 p.m. MDT

SAN ANTONIO — Elder Michael Garver, a 19-year-old missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is in "stable" condition after sustaining serious injuries earlier this month as a result of a hit-and-run accident in San Antonio, Texas.

Elder Garver is from Tooele, Utah.

The church issued a statement Monday confirming that Elder Garver “was struck by a vehicle while he and his companion were walking their bikes on the side of a road on (May 2, 2013).”

The church statement indicated Elder Garver’s missionary companion was uninjured in the incident. The companion’s name was not given.

According to the San Antonio Police Department report of the event, Elder Garver’s bicycle had a flat tire, so he was pushing his bike along the road’s gravel shoulder when a four-door passenger car hit the missionary from behind. The impact sent both Elder Garver and his bicycle into the air.

According to the police report, the missionary “hit his head on the asphalt when he landed causing serious injuries to his head.”

The report also indicates that the vehicle fled the scene without slowing down or stopping to render aid or leave information.

In addition to Elder Garver’s companion, who was walking about 4 feet behind the elder missionary at the time of the incident, reports indicate a nearby resident also saw the accident and helped to render aid until paramedics arrived on the scene.

Elder Garver was taken to a nearby medical center for emergency care. The hospital reported Monday that his condition is “stable.”

“He’s a champ,” said President Stephen E. Jones, president of the Texas San Antonio Mission. “He’s doing daily rehab treatments now, and he continues to do well. He’s progressing really well.”

Jones said he is proud of Elder Garver’s attitude, which he says is “great.”

“He’s just staying very positive,” Jones said. “He’s looking forward to being able to get back to doing missionary work.”

Where and when that will happen, however, is a matter that will be left to the LDS Church Missionary Department and Elder Garver’s family.

“We expect him to make a full recovery,” Jones said.

Elder Garver’s companion is also “doing great,” Jones said.

“Of course it was a very difficult experience for him, but he handled it extremely well,” Jones said. “He did all the right things the night of the accident and he’s been doing great ever since. He has a new companion now and is continuing to work in the area where he and Elder Garver were assigned.”

LDS Church spokeswoman Ruth Todd said LDS leaders are offering their thoughts and prayers for Elder Garver and his family.

Carole Mikita of KSL-TV also contributed to this report.

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