We are grieved to have learned that Event Staff member Jace Smothers passed away due to injuries sustained in the accident. Without question, this is one of the saddest moments in our history.
Jace had just completed his first year at Ozark Christian College as a youth ministry major and was mentoring kids in the Joplin community through the organization YoungLife. While serving as a CIY summer Event Staff member, Jace made a profound impact on everyone he came in contact with. Our entire team is heartbroken and have prayed constantly since we heard the news.
As of early this morning, the other four Event Staffers, Katie Danhour, Andie Montgomery, Brandon Musselman and Tyler Conway have been treated for injuries at regional hospitals. Brandon and Tyler were released from the hospital late Friday night. As of early Saturday morning, Katie and Andie are in stable condition.
CIY leadership will continue to be in constant communication with the families of the team members who were involved in the accident, including Jace’s. A small group of CIY’s executive team has already been to both hospitals to meet with the families.
While we cling to the promises of Jesus that we proclaim at our events, this is still a very bitter day. Jace exemplified every good quality of a Kingdom worker and he will be missed by many.
For media inquiries, please contact CIY’s Vice President of Storytelling Eric Epperson at firstname.lastname@example.org.