An Arkansas pastor’s two young daughters were tragically killed when their truck was hit by a train on Thursday, also badly injuring the preacher and his young son.
According to Daily Mail, Chad Fryar, 37, a pastor at the Crossroads Cowboy Church was driving through Clark County, Arkansas, on May 27 when the fatal collision happened. As the vehicle traveled across the tracks, a train heading north hit the passenger side and dragged the truck approximately half a mile.
Fryar’s two daughters, Marley Jo and Dana Kate, died while Chad and his son, Bo Henry, are currently fighting for their lives. ‘I cried a lot of tears yesterday,’ said head pastor of Crossroads, Ron Riddle. ‘Chad and Rachel have become like our own children. Their kids called us Nana and Po.’
According to a crash summary obtained by local media outlets, Fryar was driving his 2017 Chevrolet Silverado around 1:45 pm when the collision occurred.
The Arkadelphian reported there are crossbuck stop signs on both sides of the tracks but no flashing lights or crossing gate to warn of coming trains.
After their vehicle was hit, the father of three was air-lifted to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, nearly 50 miles from the scene. Bo Henry was taken Arkansas Children’s Hospital for unspecified injuries.
It’s unclear where each child was sitting inside the vehicle at the time of the collision. A post from the Crossroads Cowboy Church over the weekend indicated that Fryar and his young son are recovering from their injuries.
‘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 the ICU so they can monitor him,’ it read.
‘Bo Henry’s surgery went better than anticipated last night and they are managing his pain, he is being a trooper,’ the post continued, stating he had been removed from the pediatric intensive care unit.
“We are devastated by yesterday’s tragic events and the loss of Marlee Jo and Dana Kate,” said Pastor Ron Riddle of Crossroads Cowboy Church in El Paso, Ark., in Friday’s Facebook post. “Please continue to pray for their healing.” The Arkansas State Police and Union Pacific Railroad did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Chad and his wife Rachel helped start the Bismark location of CrossRoads Cowboy Church. “They have been with us from the beginning and we consider them family,” Riddle wrote on Facebook. “They have a solid faith and understanding of God…we know this solid foundation will help them navigate this difficult time.”
Chad has since been discharged from the hospital, according to the church. His son underwent surgery Thursday night, which “went better than anticipated.” “He is being a trooper,” the church wrote.