Two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) lost their lives in a tragic car accident that occurred in North Dakota on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. The victims were identified as 20-year-old Elder Braxton Davies and 19-year-old Elder Matthew Shumway.

Heartbreaking Loss for Loved Ones and Communities

Elder Davies was from Riverton, Utah, while Elder Shumway hailed from Ogden, Utah. Their untimely departure has left an immense void in the hearts of their families, friends, and fellow missionaries. Both young men were deeply committed to their faith and had dedicated their lives to serving others.

Fatal Collision on I-94

The fatal crash transpired on Interstate 94 near Belfield, North Dakota, approximately 55 miles west of Bismarck. The missionaries' car collided with a semi-truck under circumstances that are still under investigation. The impact was devastating, claiming the lives of both Elders Davies and Shumway.

Emergency Response and Investigation

Emergency personnel promptly arrived at the scene and transported the missionaries to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead. The North Dakota Highway Patrol is actively investigating the accident to determine its cause.

Outpouring of Grief and Support

The news of the missionaries' deaths sent shockwaves through the Riverton and Ogden communities, where they were deeply respected and cherished. Tributes and expressions of sympathy poured in from family, friends, and members of the LDS Church.

Missionary Service and Sacrifice

Elder Davies and Elder Shumway had been serving as missionaries for approximately six months. They were part of a group of missionaries assigned to the North Dakota Bismarck Mission, where they had been diligently sharing their beliefs and providing service to the local community.

Impact on the Local Community

The tragic loss of the missionaries has also deeply affected the Belfield community. Residents expressed their condolences and offered support to the families of the victims and the LDS Church.

Statement from LDS Church

The LDS Church released a statement expressing profound sorrow over the passing of Elder Davies and Elder Shumway. The statement praised their unwavering dedication to their faith and the impact they had made during their brief time as missionaries.

Support for the Bereaved

The LDS Church has mobilized its resources to provide support to the bereaved families and fellow missionaries who are coping with this unimaginable loss. Grief counselors and other support services are being offered to assist them during this difficult time.

Investigation and Legal Process

The North Dakota Highway Patrol continues to investigate the accident thoroughly. The findings of the investigation will be critical in determining the cause of the crash and identifying any potential legal recourse.

Memorial Services and Legacy

Memorial services are being planned in both Riverton and Ogden to honor the lives of Elder Davies and Elder Shumway. Their legacy of service and faith will undoubtedly inspire countless others to follow in their footsteps.

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