Baptist Mission Workers Killed in Bus Crash in Honduras

Friday, February 9, 2007

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

TEGUCIGULPA, HONDURAS (ANS) -- Three Americans on a mission trip in Honduras were killed in a truck crash Feb. 6. Ten other people were injured when the truck flipped on a remote mountain road, authorities said.

According to Hannah Elliott, writing for the Associated Baptist Press, two of the deceased -- 45-year-old Perry Goad and 58-year-old Richard Mason Jr., both of Cartersville, Georgia -- belonged to Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville. Martha Fuller, 66, from Newnan, Georgia, was also killed in the accident, which happened near the village of Mal Pais. Fuller was a member of Newnan First United Methodist Church.

The volunteers had been riding in an open-air military truck when the truck rolled over, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The U.S. Army airlifted the injured to a hospital, according to other reports.

Elliott writes that the weeklong trip included a group of 28 people traveling with Honduras Outreach, Inc., a Georgia-based, nondenominational charity. It included volunteers from four area churches: Newnan’s First United Methodist Church;

First Baptist Church of Newnan; Cornerstone United Methodist Church of Newnan; and Tabernacle Baptist Church of Cartersville.

Elliott reports that Honduras Outreach has been sending North American volunteers to the Agalta Valley in Honduras for the past 18 years. The volunteers -- up to 1,000 a year -- often spent time constructing roads, routing electricity and implementing running water in the remote villages there.

"We are devastated that this tragic accident occurred with the heartbreaking loss of three members of this outreach effort,'' Honduras Outreach chairman Jerry Eickhoff said in the statement, according to the Associated Press. "Our hearts go out to the families of these individuals. Our purpose for being in Honduras is to benefit the people of Agalta Valley, and members of these mission teams are here because they are dedicated to serving others."

A statement on the Tabernacle Baptist website acknowledged the deaths and asked for prayers for the victim’s families. Further information will be posted there as soon as it is received, the note said.