Share this story...
lehi missionary
Latest News

Lehi missionary dead after car accident in Arkansas

Elder Jake Smith passed away in a car accident while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Little Rock, Arkansas area. (Photo: Smith Family)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– A car accident has taken the life of a Lehi missionary who was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Arkansas. 

Church officials said Elder Jake Smith, 19, died Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after a car accident near Rosebud, Arkansas. The Lehi man had been serving as a missionary since August 2019.

In a statement, the church said three other missionaries were in the vehicle at the time of the accident. All three of the other missionaries were injured but are expected to recover. 

Two of the other missionaries involved in the accident are from Utah. Elder McKay Jurges of West Jordan, Utah, sustained serious injuries and remains hospitalized. Elder Gavin Hatch of Cedar Hills, Utah, has minor injuries, along with Elder Eli Sutherland of San Diego, California.

“We also express our sincere condolences to the family of Elder Smith and to all the missionaries of the Arkansas Little Rock Mission,” said Sam Penrod, a spokesman for the church. “We pray they will each feel the Savior’s love and comfort during this difficult time.”

I have an idea for a future in-depth report. How do I tell you about it?

We would love to hear your ideas. You can email our team at If you are hoping to reach a specific member of our team, you can also contact them directly through our bios, here.