Friends remember deceased missionaries and one who survived. New details released about crash.
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RAMAH, New Mexico — Federal officials in New Mexico have released new information about the vehicle crash that killed two Latter-day Saint missionaries Thursday evening.
Those missionaries were 20-year-old Tyson Gene Haycock from Miles City, Montana and 20-year-old Michael Austin Davis from Corinne, Utah.
A third missionary in the vehicle, 19-year-old Britton Jeremie Berrett from Roberts, survived the crash and was hospitalized in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Thursday and Friday. He was reported as in stable condition at midday Friday, and extended family members tell EastIdahoNews.com Berrett has since been released from the hospital.
“We are grateful to report that he is doing well and will make a full recovery. We are heartbroken for the Davis and Haycock families and will continue to keep them in our hearts and our prayers!” said Berrett’s mother, Tracy Berrett.
All three young men were serving two-year proselytizing missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The crash occurred on the Navajo Nation Indian Reserve, and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
FBI Public Affairs spokesman Frank Fisher tells EastIdahoNews.com the two-vehicle crash happened on Indian Service Route 125 at around 4:23 p.m. Thursday. Fisher confirmed the three missionaries were inside a Toyota Tacoma. The other vehicle was a Ram pickup truck.
It’s unclear what caused the crash, or who if anyone, was at fault.
Fisher said one of the men in the Toyota died at the scene, another at a hospital, and the third — the driver — was hospitalized.
The driver of the pickup was seriously injured and also taken to the hospital. His condition is unknown. An adult passenger fled the scene, according to witnesses.
The FBI, Ramah Navajo Police Department and the New Mexico State Police continue to investigate the crash.
Since the crash, there has been an outpouring of support for Berrett, and the families of the lost missionaries.
In honor of the missionaries, an email was sent out to the church congregation in Ramah, New Mexico where the elders were serving. The church executive secretary told members they will be having a “Missionary March” during a Pioneer Day parade on Saturday and asked people to wear a white shirt and tie with slacks to honor them.
Rex Morris lives in New Mexico and told EastIdahoNews.com that his heart breaks for the three missionaries. He had just had them over for dinner the week of the accident. Morris shared a picture on Facebook with the elders and wrote, ”Elder Davis was going home in two weeks having served a two-year mission here. Elder Haycock was new just starting his mission four weeks ago. Elder Davis’ message to us was from 1 Peter Chapter 3, which he said he had read that morning.”
Morris says he has tried calling Elder Berrett to see if he is doing OK but says he has not yet received a response.
A missionary serving in the Farmington Mission named Samisoni Fotofili told EastIdahoNews.com he served with Davis and Berrett. He said that he didn’t get a chance to know Haycock who was serving in the same mission because Haycock was new.
“I had the privilege to serve around Elder Davis for six months. We grew close. When you are out on the mission, you are not with your family or with your friends. The missionaries you serve with become your friends. He was willing to do the work that we were assigned and called to do. We are supposed to give up two years of our life to serve the church and he took that to heart. He gave it 110 percent,” Fotofili said.
He says he was told Berrett has a broken collar bone from the crash and that he will be OK. He explained he served with Berrett in Ramah and he would see him every week and play basketball with him on their days off.
Fotofili said it’s sad to think Davis won’t be around anymore.
“We had plans. I talked to him almost everyday when I get home. He was supposed to finish in two weeks. I finish seven months after. We made plans that he’d be there at the airport when I walk out and he’d be there at my wedding and now I kind of look back at our plans and see that it’s changed a little bit. It’s sad but I have faith and know that I will see him again,” he said.
EastIdahoNews.com will update this article if more details are released.