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Mormon missionary killed in taxi accident in Venezuela

A 24-year-old Venezuelan serving as an LDS missionary and two other passengers died Wednesday afternoon in Venezuela after the taxi they were traveling was involved in a traffic accident.
A 24-year-old Venezuelan serving as an LDS missionary and two other passengers died Wednesday afternoon in Venezuela after the taxi they were traveling was involved in a traffic accident.
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SALT LAKE CITY — A 24-year-old Mormon missionary died Wednesday afternoon after his taxi was involved in a traffic accident in Venezuela.

"We are very sad to share the news of the death of one of our missionaries, Elder Argenis Jesus Gonzalez Villarroel, age 24, who died in an auto accident this afternoon," said Eric Hawkins, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Gonzalez was a member of the church's Caracas Venezuela Palo Verde Stake and had been serving as a missionary in the Venezuela Barcelona Mission since May 2015.

"Elder Gonzalez was being transferred from one area to another via a taxi service when the vehicle he was riding in was involved in a serious accident that killed three passengers," Hawkins said. "No other missionaries were involved. Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers are with his family and those who knew and loved him. We also pray for the families and loved ones of the other victims in the accident."

Inner-city and intra-city taxis in Venezuela — called "por puestos" or "carritos" — can serve multiple paying passengers sharing a ride.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com