Comments about ‘Mormon missionary killed after being hit by truck in Oklahoma’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 3 2013 11:00 p.m. MST

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ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

This it the type of headline you never want to see. I hope the family and close friends feel an extra portion of the spirit in their lives at this moment. My family too knows the pain of losing someone in an untimely manner and we have also felt that extra portion of the spirit in our time of duress and loss.

Okieland
Edmond, Ok

I live in the OKC mission, and at this time all Elders & Sisters are gathered at a memorial service for Sister Smith, so that they can mourn together and strengthen one another. She was a marvelous missionary, and she was where she was supposed to be, doing what she was supposed to be doing. Please send prayers to this mission, as they are so heartbroken to have lost such a faithful sister. Please also pray for the young companion she was training. 2 days before the accident, Sister Smith had been assigned to train a new missionary, the FIRST 19 year old sister to be sent to our mission. That poor young new sister watched her trainer die. Can you imagine? Please pray for her. That is the most painful way to start your missionary service. The authorities have not released any details of the accident, other than it was caused by a young 18 year old man driving a truck. No indications have been made that alcohol or cellphone use was a factor. Woodward is a wonderful small country town. Many places have narrow roads, and no shoulder or sidewalk available. It was an unfortunate accident. :(

utah cornhusker
NORFOLK, NE

I served in manila Philippines mission. There was only one pair of missionaries that had bicycles because they drove So wild over there So We took public transportation and the only ones that had cars were the mission president and the assistants. May God bless her family and.friends and the missionaries.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

I was struck from behind by a car while riding a bicycle on my mission. Fortunatelely I was not injured. There were no bicylce helmets in those days. I agree with other posters. Riding a bicylce in traffic is dangerous. One suggestion could be mandatory reflective vests at night or limit travel to designated bike trails or well lit areas.

fwinxee
Lapu-Lapu, 00

She died while serving a mission. I think that's very brave. She will be blessed along with her family. Still, bike policies should be changed or at least make a bicycle lane so that other vehicles can't hit people riding on them.

killpack
Sandy, UT

I can't believe all of the reactionary comments. Here's a news flash. We don't make policies based on a zero fatality outcome, for ANYTHING. Because, if that is your sole motivation, to have NO FATALITIES, you will accomplish NOTHING in this life. People die biking, walking, driving, flying, taking the train, taking the bus, taking a cab, and every other possible means of conveyance. If you want to reduce fatalities on the mission, or in any other bureaucracy, lock your people in a bomb shelter with a 50 year supply of food and water and throw away the key. I'm pretty sure they won't die then. Otherwise, people die, some earlier than others. Sorry if that sounds insensitive. But I think the LDS Church should keep on doing what it is they do. Bikes are a very efficient way to spread the good word. This great woman died a glorious death doing just that. God bless her.

eastcoastcoug
Danbury, CT

My, my, we have a lot to learn about how to respond to people (even fellow church members) that don't think like we do or react the way we would like. No need to disparage those who are asking questions. Even slamming down a critic will not help anyone in the end. We are all sad and grieving for the loss of this Sister. Many of us have served a mission or have children who have served, or who are about to serve. We all love missionaries and are sad for this loss.

GeoMan
SALEM, OR

My condolences to the family and friends of Sister Smith, especially her companion.
I, probably like most posting here, don't even know what the Church's current official policy is concerning biking after dark. I do know that on my mission (a long, long time ago) we were not supposed to ride after dark. That was before the more visible LED head and tail lights for bicycles became available. A mission is still the safest place for young men (and I presume women) of that age group to be.
I ride my bike to and from work most days and at this time of year it is in the dark both directions. With proper equipment visibility isn't going to be the reason someone hits me. Driver inattention or incompetence will be. Many of the same people clamoring for more gun control regularly use the mobile phones while driving and engage in other dangerous behaviors behind the wheel of a car.
I hope that most families aren't spending $800 for a missionary bicycle. There are plenty of high quality, light-weight bicycles available for less than half that price even after equipping it with lights, fenders, luggage racketc.

benchwarmer
,

Wait...full time missionaries have to purchase their own bikes?? Seriously? Why are young women sent to unknown cities where they are asked to be in such a vulnerable position as on a bike? Have any of you BEEN in Oklahoma? I can't imagine these kids riding for miles of nothing but wheat, blazing sun or freezing winter winds. A car should be provided for them. Yes, car accidents happen but at least those who may be intent on harm will allow these young women some measure of safety in a locked car with a cell phone to dial police and it provides shelter from the elements. I also find it sad that a church with assets in excess of $150 Billion dollars asks their missionaries who bring more converts into the church with their tithing can't provide a vehicle for them to use to be safe from the elements and those who would do them harm. This nice young woman could certainly have met the same fate here just biking for recreation but the whole issue is a bit too risky this way.

killpack
Sandy, UT

All missions already have curfews in place. There is no need to place restrictions on biking hours. I for one, would be pretty upset if I had to stop and walk my bike home as soon as the sun went down, just because my mission leadership wanted to micromanage my own safety. It was an honor for me to have served a mission. But, like any bureaucracy, there were rules, regulations and restrictions that made serving less enjoyable. Placing more barriers in the way will only discourage potential missionaries from service.

bikeboy
Boise, ID

Speaking as a RM and a 27-year veteran transportation cyclist:

You are more vulnerable on a bicycle than in a car, and riding accident-free is the only way to avoid injury or death. However, bicycle transportation isn't inherently dangerous.

Nobody (or very few people) will deliberately run into you. The key is to be legal, predictable, and visible. Visible is particularly challenging at night, and missionaries should have bright lights at both ends. I'd also like to see hi-viz reflective vests (cheap, and can be worn outside of overcoats, suits, etc.) and reflective/hi-viz treatment for the ubiquitous backpacks, etc. (I don't think there's a rule that says missionaries have to be dressed in dark, nearly-invisible clothes. If there is, there shouldn't be!)

Condolences to the family and loved ones of Sister Smith; I'm confident there's a place in the Kingdom for her.

killpack
Sandy, UT

@bikeboy

Now that is a sensible, non-reactionary solution. Thank you,

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