LOCAL NEWS

Two missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints killed in North Dakota crash

Jun 5, 2024, 11:42 AM | Updated: 5:53 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Two missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were killed in a car crash in North Dakota on Tuesday. The two missionaries were serving in the North Dakota, Bismarck Mission.

The Church said “Elder Jacob Aaron Kesler, 20, from Ely, Nevada, and Elder Robert “Tommy” Gardner, 20, from Riverton, Utah, both passed away at the scene of the collision. The missionaries were traveling on a highway outside of Beulah, North Dakota, when their vehicle struck a semi-truck, which had stopped in the road due to an accident.”

Elder Kesler had been serving since July 2022 and Elder Gardner since November 2022.

“We send our love and condolences to Elder Kesler’s and Elder Gardner’s families and friends and their fellow missionaries in the North Dakota Bismarck Mission,” a statement from the Church stated. “We pray they will each be comforted and feel peace during this tragic time as they reflect on the faithful service these young men have given to the Savior, by sharing His gospel.”

The North Dakota Highway Patrol told KSL TV on Wednesday that there was another crash on the highway, which the semi had stoppped for.

“The fire department was out there putting the fire out,” said Sgt. Jeremiah Bohn, with the NDHP. “Traffic was backed up about a mile and the semi had stopped for the traffic and the vehicle that was driven by the 20-year-old males ran into the back of the semi.”

The missionaries were traveling on Highway 49 at the time of the crash.

“You could see for several miles the semi was stopped in the roadway,” Bohn said. “Crashes on that road are very rare. You don’t see a lot of speeding or passing on that road.”

Elder Gardner’s parents told KSL that he was an track athlete at Riverton High School.

In a post on Facebook, a fomer companion of Elder Gardner wrote, “He was one of the best athletes he’d ever met, and that he exuded excitement to get out and help other people, and that he worked tirelessly to become a full-time missionary.”

He also wrote that Elder Gardner loved talking about his family, and he loved being a big brother and son.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A voter places her ballot into a secure ballot drop box at the Salt Lake County Government Center i...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

What to watch for on a busy Utah primary election day

A long and unusually crowded 2024 primary election is almost in the books in Utah, as Republican voters will select their party's nominees in several statewide and federal races Tuesday.

1 hour ago

FILE (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...

Daniella Rivera

KSL Investigation examines more than a decade of alleged election crime in Utah

Election fraud is rare in Utah, but it does happen – that's what the KSL Investigators found after looking at nearly 12 years of statewide court records.

10 hours ago

Parts of Utah have been given a heat advisory on Sunday. A view of the state Capitol and the Salt L...

Andrew Adams

As temperatures approach 100, urban surfaces can make the heat even more present

When temperatures approach and reach triple digits, heat captured and reflected by surfaces can make conditions in urban areas only more sweltering.

10 hours ago

A light on top of a police car...

Mark Jones

Man suffers minor injuries in paragliding crash near Parowan

Police say a 74-year-old man suffered minor injuries Monday following a paragliding accident.

12 hours ago

The body of a Idaho man was recovered Monday, June 24, 2024, in the Blackrock Canyon, south of Poca...

Mark Jones

Idaho man found dead in canyon south of Pocatello

Authories in Idaho say the body of a 49-year-old man was found Monday in the Blackrock Canyon, south of Pocatello.

12 hours ago

A California man is being held without bond at the Salt Lake County Jail for allegedly kidnapping h...

Brianna Chavez

California man arrested for allegedly kidnapping girlfriend

A California man is being held without bond at the Salt Lake County Jail for allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend over the weekend.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Two missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints killed in North Dakota crash