The family and church of an Arkansas pastor are grieving the loss of his two daughters after the family's vehicle was hit by an oncoming train. The pastor and his son survived the accident but are in critical condition in hospital.
Pastor Chad Fryar of Crossroads Cowboy Church in Bismarck, Arkansas, and his son, Bo Henry, are being treated for their injuries, THV11 reported, adding that the pastor’s daughters, Marlee Jo and Dana Kate Fryar, did not survive the accident.
The incident occurred while the Fryar family was traveling east on Richwoods Road, the media outlet said, citing local officials. The pastor’s wife, Rachel, was at home at the time.
Their vehicle crossed the Union Pacific Railroad tracks just as a northbound train approached, striking the passenger side of the vehicle. The impact forced the vehicle to lodge in front of the train, which pushed it about 2,400 feet before both came to a halt.
The Crossroads Cowboy Church expressed their devastation online.
“We are devasted by [the] tragic events and the loss of Marlee Jo and Dana Kate,” the statement read, “Chad and Bo Henry are stable in local hospitals. Please continue to pray for their healing. Please pray for Rachel as she navigates this loss and ministers to her son and husband.”
The Fryar family have shared updates on their condition. “Chad is in good spirits and being his normal self. Doctors are still discussing the length of his stay, but they are keeping him in ICU so they can monitor him,” said the update.
Bo Henry’s surgery reportedly went better than anticipated, and the young boy is being commended for his resilience.
“We’ve had lots of questions [about] what can we do for our precious Fryar 5. Right now we are working closely with Crossroads El Paso to set up an account where donations can be made,” the church said on its Facebook page.
“If any kids in the community would like to make something special for Bo Henry and his family you can drop it off at JA Farms Feed and Mercantile and we will make sure they get it. Praise report that Bo Henry and Chad were able to talk on the phone this morning!”
Pastor Ron Riddle of Crossroads Cowboy Church in El Paso, who is acquainted with the Fryar family, also expressed deep grief. “Just became a part of my personal family, and we just love the Fryars so very much,” KARK.com quoted Riddle as saying. He described the family as close-knit, the kind of church family everyone would want to have.
“Just trust that God has bigger plans, things that we cannot see yet,” Riddle advised, although he admitted to struggling with questions about why such a tragic event occurred.
As the community rallies around them, the church continues to conduct its scheduled services.
The congregation is also expressing faith in their resilience and in God’s plan amid the heartbreak. “Come as you are, God will meet you where you are at! The first time you’re a guest the second time you’re family,” was the message posted on the church’s Facebook page.
Pastor Riddle said, “God’s got this. He’s in control.”