Mormon missionary dies in Oklahoma car-bicycle collision

Alesa Smith, 22, of Benton, Arkansas, died after her bicycle was hit by a pickup in Woodward, Oklahoma, Mormon church officials said.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: February 3, 2013

A 22-year-old Arkansas woman serving a Mormon mission in Oklahoma died Friday night after she was hit by a pickup while riding her bicycle, church officials said Sunday.

Alesa Smith, 22, of Benton, Ark., had been in the state for about 10 months on a mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nolan Taylor, president of missions for the church in Oklahoma City, said Smith had worked in several other cities and had just begun in Woodward, where the wreck happened.

“She is a lovely, kind young woman and was loved by everyone who knows her,” Taylor said. “A lot of folks here were blessed to get to know her.”

Woodward police said Sunday they could not release further details about the wreck.

Smith was serving as a full-time missionary for the church. Mormon young people have the option to voluntarily serve a mission with the church. Men serve two-year missions, while women serve 18 months.

Missionaries serve at their own expense and can be assigned to any one of hundreds of missions across the world.

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