Before we moved to Oklahoma, we were in the South Jordan 1st ward. Mike served as a priest advisor and I was a miamaid advisor. Yesterday the youth were on there way to trek when tragedy hit them. Here is the article pulled from KSL.

Bus carrying LDS youth to pioneer trek destroyed by fire
By Sarah Dallof

RAWLINS, Wyo. -- A handcart pioneer trek got off to a scary start when a tour bus taking some South Jordan teenagers to the starting location caught fire.

The real challenges for this group of young men and women from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints weren't supposed to start until their bus reached Martin's Cove. Instead, they found themselves with seconds to escape the burning bus.

"Within minutes our bus is engulfed in flames. Within literally 12 minutes the bus was completely burned to the frame." - Jeff Raditz, trek leaderFor many LDS teens, a handcart trek in Martin's Cove is a rite of passage -- a way to honor the pioneer experience. It's an example of faith and endurance.

"A lot of people died there. The people left Winter Quarters too late. They got stuck in the snow. It was 18 degrees below zero [Fahrenheit]," explained Susan Harker.

Harker's two kids, Avrielle and Craig, are on the trek with the young women and men of the South Jordan 1st Ward. The real danger, though, was in getting there and getting out of a bus on fire.

It all started with a flat tire outside Rawlins, Wyo., a couple hours away from Martin's Cove.

Trek leader Jeff Radditz said the entire bus burned in 12 minutes. "Shortly after the first flat tire, we immediately got a second flat tire," said trek leader Jeff Radditz. "They fixed that within a half hour, and another half hour passed. We were on the road, and another tire went flat and caught fire."

Radditz took home video of the bus burning on the side of the interstate. He took a cell phone picture of the end result.

"Within minutes our bus is engulfed in flames," he said. "Within literally 12 minutes the bus was completely burned to the frame."

"My daughter said there were flames coming through the floor of the bus as they were exiting," Harker said.

While the teens lost all of the supplies, some even their shoes in the fire, no one was hurt. The bus company sent a new bus, and the youth group stopped in Rawlins to take a vote on if they should continue. The decision was a unanimous "yes."

"All sorts of bad stuff happens in life, and you can't just lie down and die. You have to keep going. I think this is an important lesson for them," Harker said.

The group says they've been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who stopped to help them, providing water, blankets and supplies.

They'll be back in Utah Thursday night.

Interesting to note that if we would still have been living in Utah, Mike and I would have been there with those kids. I am so grateful to know that everyone is okay. Its amazing the positive attitude that has come from all those who were there. We are a blessed people.

1 comment :

  1. wow this is an incredible story. Angels were watching over this kids so they could continue on a trek that will bring memories for the rest of their lives. I had the opportunity to do two of those treks there at Martins Cove. And there are no words to describe how much it teaches you, and the memories and feelings created. So glad everyone is safe! Abby, when I leave, you need to take my spot in YW. You would be absolutely FABULOUS and the girls would hands out LOVE YOU!