Missionary Dies after Being Struck by Vehicle

Contributed By By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 11 March 2014

Elder Mason Lewis Bailey from Richfield, Utah, serving in the Sweden Stockholm Mission since July 2013, died after being struck by a vehicle while he and his companion were walking along a road on their way to an appointment.  Photo courtesy of Rex and Nicole Persons family.

Article Highlights

  • While walking to an appointment on March 2, Elder Mason Lewis Bailey, 19, was struck by a vehicle and killed.
  • Elder Bailey left for his mission shortly after high school graduation and had been serving since July 2013.

A young man who “had a smile on his face and was somebody that people naturally enjoyed being around,” Elder Mason Lewis Bailey, 19, died on March 2, after he was involved in an accident while serving in the Stockholm Sweden Mission.

Elder Bailey of Richfield, Utah, and his companion were walking to an appointment when he was struck by a vehicle and killed. His companion was not hurt.

Leaving just a few months after high school graduation, Elder Bailey had been serving on his mission since July 2013.

“He was one of the first missionaries who was able to go at 18,” said Kenneth D. Thomas, president of the Richfield Utah East Stake. “He was still in high school when he put in his mission papers, and so he was part of that wave of young men who first desired to go when they could at 18.”

Up until he was 16, Elder Bailey lived in Provo, Utah, with his mother and two younger siblings. Before his junior year of high school he decided to move to Richfield to live with an aunt and uncle and their three children.

Elder Mason Lewis Bailey from Richfield, Utah, serving in the Sweden Stockholm Mission since July 2013, died after being struck by a vehicle while he and his companion were walking along a road on their way to an appointment. Photo courtesy of Rex and Nicole Persons family.

“Both of his parents are from Richfield, so both sets of grandparents were from here,” said President Thomas. “He was a country boy at heart, so it was natural for him to want to be back in the country. He spent time doing all kinds of outdoor things—[riding] horses, snowmobiling, and biking.”

President Thomas recalled a time when the young men in his ward went with the bishop to a cabin during the winter. It was there that they spent two and a half days reading the entire Book of Mormon.

“Those boys came back changed men,” President Thomas said. “I suppose it was during that time that Mason gained a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.”

President Thomas said that Elder Bailey was the “kind of young man who worked hard and saved his money and prepared so he could support himself on a mission.

“To me, that speaks volumes to the character of the man who sacrifices the things he would like to do for a mission.”

President Thomas said that Elder Bailey, who hadn’t grown up in Richfield, was able to go to the high school “as a new kid” and gather good friends around him.

“He became the young man that other people liked being friends with,” President Thomas said, remembering Elder Bailey as someone who was happy and who others liked to be around. “He was a good friend to so many both in the ward and in the community.”

Elder Bailey had been serving since July 2013. Photo courtesy of Rex and Nicole Persons family.

President Thomas said that upon receiving his call to serve in Sweden, Elder Bailey “was so excited to go to a faraway place. … From what I understand he … had a positive influence and impact on those that he served with as well as those that he worked with.”

At press time, no funeral arrangements had been made.

“We are mindful of Elder Bailey’s family and loved ones during this difficult time and unite our faith and prayers with all Church members, who mourn at the death of a missionary,” said Cody Craynor, Church spokesman.