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.”