Harding Student Dies after Car Accident in Kentucky

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SEARCY, AR — Nicholas Smith, 21, a student at Harding University, died early Saturday morning from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

The accident occurred around 1 a.m. on Interstate 71 just outside Louisville, Kentucky. Smith was traveling for a student organized mission trip to Syracuse, New York, where he was to be a summer youth intern.

According to authorities working the scene, there were five cars and three semi-trucks involved in the crash. Officials are still investigating the cause of the crash and have not yet said whether weather conditions were a factor.

Two other passengers in the car were University students Drew Taylor, who was airlifted to a Louisville hospital to have surgery Saturday morning and is stable and recovering, and Abby Owens, who was treated and released.

Smith, originally from Buford, Georgia, was a senior youth and family ministry major at the University set to graduate in May, a member of Beta Omega Chi men’s social club, and an honor student.

Scott Adair, an association professor who had Smith as a student for a few courses, Smith as a quiet, focused and independent student who always volunteered his time if someone asked.

“Not requiring any attention for himself or any credit for himself,” Adair continued. “He was so servant-hearted, so willing, so Christ-like.”

Hundreds of students and faculty wrote their condolences on the university’s social media profiles once it informed the public of the accident. The news shocked and caused devastation to a large part of the student body.

Adair said though the news was saddening, because HU was a school with strong ties to prayer, the community would pull through.

“We need to suffer with, we need to mourn with, we need to weep with and I believe that God weeps with us. That Christ weeps with us.”

Leah Uko contributed to this report. To follow story coverage with Leah Uko on Facebook click here. To follow story updates with Leah Uko on Twitter click here.

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