2 Missionaries From Utah, Colorado Killed In Texas Car Crash
May 19, 2021, 6:39 PM | Updated: May 20, 2021, 5:22 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Shock and heartbreak for the families of two Latter-day Saint missionaries killed in a tragic car crash in Denton Texas about 40 miles north of Dallas.
Elder Luke Masakazu Carter, 18 of Springville, Utah, and Elder Eli Jon Fowler, 20, from Pueblo West, Colorado died Tuesday morning when their car collided head-on with a pick-up truck. Denton Police told KSL that the driver of the truck veered into their lane; that driver survived the crash.
Investigators are still trying to figure out when he veered.
“(Luke) loved life and his mission. Had this radiant light around him. Loved the people of Texas,” said Paulette Carter, Luke’s mother. “Thrilled to be a missionary.”
“I’m super grateful to have been his mom and to have been blessed to be his mom for 20 years. It was an honor,” said Kimberly Fowler, Eli’s mother, in a Zoom interview with KSL from Colorado. He was there for the right reasons.”
Family & friends remembering two missionaries tragically killed in a crash in Texas “I have been blessed to be his mom” said one mother “loved life and his mission” said another @KSL5TV @Ch_JesusChrist pic.twitter.com/fYHxZ8gNg7
— Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) May 19, 2021
“He passed away doing what he loved. He always wanted to go on a mission,” said Eli’s father Cody Fowler.
Elder Carter’s stake president Eric Graves sent Luke out on his mission and said he was so excited to serve.
“I asked him the question. I said, ‘Elder Carter, why do you want to serve a mission?’ and with his infectious smile and almost a giggle he said, ‘Because the gospel makes me happy and I want others to be happy,’” Graves said.
According to his family, Elder Fowler had been in the mission field just three weeks to the day that he was killed. He had just returned after coming home for a year because of COVID-19. His mom said he knew he had to get back into the field.
“(He said), ‘Mom over this last year I’ve prayed and I received an answer from God and I know this is where I’m supposed to go. This is what I’m supposed to do and I want to be on a mission,’” Kimberly said.
The families called the pain intense, but they are finding comfort in their faith.
“When I sent him on his mission, I left him in the arms of God and now he is really in the arms of God. What better place could he be?” said Kimberly.
Sam Penrod, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement that said in part:
“Both missionaries were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. We express our love and deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Elder Carter and Elder Fowler and to the missionaries in the Texas Fort Worth Mission. We pray that all will be uplifted by the Savior’s love and feel comfort during this difficult and trying time.”