Missionary Death in Atlanta, Georgia

Contributed By Valerie Johnson, Church News staff writer

  • 11 June 2015

“On behalf of our entire family, we wish to express our love and appreciation for all of the support and prayers that have been offered in the wake of this tragic loss.” —The Barnard family

Two sister missionaries serving in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission were involved in a car accident in Atlanta on May 29, according to Church officials. Sister Natalie Ann Barnard, 20, of Snoqualmie, Washington, was killed and Sister Rachel Beckstrom, 19, of Tooele, Utah, was hospitalized in critical condition.

The sister missionaries were hit by a semitrailer truck traveling at 45 mph after trying to make a right turn on a road with limited visibility due to trees, said Sister Beckstrom’s father, Curtis Beckstrom. He and his family traveled to Atlanta to be with Sister Beckstrom. According to Kathy Beckstrom on their gofundme page, the doctors “seem to be optimistic, but continue to caution us that Rachel’s condition is still very critical and she has a very long recovery process ahead of her.” They added, “We are grateful for everyone’s prayers and expression of love and hope.”

The Barnard family said in a statement from the Church, “As a family, we are deeply saddened by the loss of our loving daughter, sister and granddaughter. On behalf of our entire family, we wish to express our love and appreciation for all of the support and prayers that have been offered in the wake of this tragic loss.”

“We extend our love and prayers on behalf of their families and loved ones at this difficult time,” Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said on behalf of the Church.

Sister Beckstrom has been serving since February 2015, and Sister Barnard had been serving since October 2014.