Printed on: September 07, 2013

LDS church confirms death of missionary


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A 19-year-old Mormon missionary who was critically injured in a Tuesday evening vehicle accident in Bingham County has died.

The man's death was confirmed Friday afternoon by a spokesman for

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Taylor Ward of Vacaville, Calif., was injured in a collision at the intersection of state Highway 39 and 100 South near Rockford.

"We've received confirmation that

Elder Taylor Shane Ward has passed away. Doctors pronounced that all

brain activity had ceased (Wednesday evening)," spokesman Eric Hawkins said in an email.

Funeral arrangements were pending Friday.

Ward was a passenger in a 2013

Chevrolet Cruze driven by John Floyd,

20, of Deep Run, N.C., according to

the Idaho State Police. The ISP previously reported that Floyd failed to yield

to a stop sign at the intersection in the

5:55 p.m. accident. The Cruze was

struck on the passenger's side by a Ford F350 driven by Joshua Morris, 23, of Blackfoot.

According to a statement from the

Mormon church, Ward is the 10th

Mormon missionary to die from accident or illness this year. The deaths of Ward and the other missionaries this year do not represent a trend, according to David F. Evans, executive director of the LDS Missionary Department.A similar number of missionary deaths occurred in 2003 and 2008.

There are more than 77,000 Mormon missionaries serving around the world this year.

"Gratefully, these occurrences are rare, and missionary work is inherently safe," Evans said in a statement. "The mortality rate for missionaries is significantly less than those in the same age group in the general population."