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For week ended January 23, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Young Mormon missionary dies Friday in crash on Highway 24
Carteret co NC News Times 23Jan00 N2

MOREHEAD CITY, NORTH CAROLINA -- An LDS missionary, Sister Melissa Peterson, 22, of Snowflake, Arizona, died Friday from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Peterson, who had been serving for 1 1/2 years, was killed when the car she was riding in was hit from behind by a pickup truck.

Peterson was traveling with her companion, Sister Colleen Stoker, 22, of Utah, in the back seat of a 1988 Buick Park Avenue driven by Leigh Jefferson Compton, 44, an active member of the LDS Church in Morehead City.

Compton, who was traveling east on Highway 70, slowed nearly to a stop at about 3 pm for a funeral procession on Highway 24. The pickup truck, a 1995 Ford Ranger driven by Jonathan Edward Morgan, 18, of Morehead City, hit the buick from behind while traveling at about 55 mph, police estimate. Both vehicles traveled 125 feet after the impact.

Fire and rescue units rushed to the scene and had to use hydraulic prying and cutting equipment to free Peterson from the wreck. Sister Stoker was not injured, nor were the drivers, Compton and Morgan.

As of press time, no charges have been filed. Sister Peterson's family was notified through the Church on Friday.


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