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  • Driver Of Vehicle That Killed Two Mormon Missionaries Arrested
    by Andrew Adams - Alex Cabrero - Morgan Skinner
    Published - 11/10/11 - 07:27 AM | 15 15 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Courtesy of KRGV Television
    Courtesy of KRGV Television
    Jose Luis Garza driver of car which killed two LDS Missionaries in Donna, Texas. (TPDS photo)
    Jose Luis Garza driver of car which killed two LDS Missionaries in Donna, Texas. (TPDS photo)
    slideshow
    (Donna, TX) - Texas authorities have arrested Jose Luis Garza, 32, a Mexican National living in Weslaco, Texas, in connection with the death of two LDS missionaries killed while riding their bicycles in Donna, Texas, on Tuesday evening in what authorities describe as a hit-and-run accident.

    Trooper Johnny Hernandez said the driver of the car involved in the accident faces a felony charge for failure to stop and render aid. Garza and two passengers fled the scene.

    "Especially when you cause a fatal accident, or injuries, you need to stay at the location," Hernandez said.

    Garza was arrested on two counts for accident causing injury or death with a $50,000 bond on each totaling $100,000. The two passengers who were in the car have been questioned and released, according to police reports.

    Garza reportedly told authorities that he was having problems with his headlamps (headlights), which kept flickering on and off. The police report shows that Garza admitted he and his passengers ran because they were scared.

    Elder Trevor Reinhold Strong, 21, of Taylorsville, Utah, and Elder Derek Jason Walker, 20, of Fairfield, Idaho died in the crash. Elder Zachary Todd Harris, 19, of Huntsville, Alabama, was taken to Knapp Medical Center where he was treated and released Wednesday.

    Elder Strong was scheduled to be released from his two-year mission last week but had asked to extend his mission an additional three-weeks.

    Trooper Hernandez said the missionaries were riding northbound on Midway South Road, which is not too far from major roadway Business Highway 83, when a vehicle traveling southbound hit all three on bikes head-on.

    Scott Trotter, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of Elder Strong, Elder Walker and Elder Harris. "We pray that the Lord will comfort and watch over them during this difficult time." LDS Church Statement

    Donna, with a population of 15,798 (2010 Census), is located fourteen miles southeast of McAllen in the Rio Grand Valley of Hildago County.

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    Comments
    (15)
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    Sad Sally
    |
    November 12, 2011
    My heart goes out to the families of these amazing young men. Sad to see that, as usual, the culprit is a individual is was probably under the influence and whose immigration status is probably illegal. Does the driver have other DUI's on his record? If so, why was he on the road? Where was ICE?
    Gonzz.
    |
    November 10, 2011
    Our hearts and prayers for the Families of these angels, may our heavenly Father provide the a continous comfort during this sad time.

    Nuestras oraciones estan con Ustedes desde Houston Texas
    Adam C
    |
    November 10, 2011
    Sadly, I think there is more to this story than they just ran off because they were scared. My guess is they were drunk as well and didn't want to add that to their charges. Too bad they didn't catch them until after they were able to sober up. Now the driver just gets manslaughter.
    anonymous
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    November 10, 2011
    I agree. Leaving the scene should add time and degree to the two counts of vehicular homicide.
    joseph watley
    |
    November 10, 2011
    If the passengers did not contact the police about this accident they should as well be charged. The sad thing is he will get probably only 5-10 years while these two young me lost their lives...
    anonymous
    |
    November 10, 2011
    Although it is very sad the 2 missionaries who lost their lives are in a better place right now and they will be reunited with their families again and will be together for all eternity while the people in the car have to live with the guilt for the rest of their mortal live and in the end they will have to answer to our heavenly father and he will work everything out
    Adam C
    |
    November 10, 2011
    My guess is their guilt won't be much a factor for these guys anonymous. They'll have to wait for this life to be over before they get what they deserve. And while the missionaries may be in a better place now, I think you're throwing that out there a little too matter of factly. These families are in pain and there is little solice for now. Knowing they'll see them again is only minor comfort.
    anonymous
    |
    November 10, 2011
    Depraved indifference.
    ddynmo
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    November 10, 2011
    I VERY STRONGLY AGREE!!!! They could have rendered aid or called authorities or done something other than run, leaving the men for dead instead of treating it as an accident and trying to make amends however possible. They made their own individual choices, and they chose to run instead of seek help. I think they should be held as accountable as the driver. For all we know, they could've been distracting him.
    Busy-Mum
    |
    November 10, 2011
    My son is serving a Mission in South Texas - this saddens me that this happened to 2 of his brothers. Please pray for the families of these young boys. They are on Heavenly Fathers errand - they mean no harm - this mission is to bring people unto Christ - it's a good thing!
    f monsevais
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    November 10, 2011
    I live in south Texas and am LDS we are praying for you son and all our missionaries. we will watch over them with everything we can.

    Alice , Texas
    Domigo Hernandez
    |
    November 09, 2011
    Nos uniremos en las oraciones,lloramos por ellos,pedimos consuelo y fortaleza a sus padres y familia y tambien oraremos por los que causaron el accidente desde Chile.

    We join in prayers, we cry for them, we comfort and strength to her parents and family and also pray for those who caused the accident from Chile.
    ConnieP-AKLNZ
    |
    November 09, 2011
    Our heavenly father will always prepare a way for these courages young warriors using their time to serve him ...may our Heavenly Father comfort their families during this time of need...

    Much love from LDS members in Auckland NZ...
    Silvers3402
    |
    November 09, 2011
    My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these young and wonderful missionaries. I know with no doubt that these missionaries were serving the Lord and that they are now with their Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ.May God Bless and Comfort their families in this difficult times.
    margaret wilkinson
    |
    April 14, 2013
    hi. sorry its short notice. I am so sorry what had happen with missionaries. I feel for both families. my thoughts and prayers are with yous. I am from new Zealand and live in Hamilton, chart well. god bless you both families.
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