BISMARCK, Ark. – A family, church and community are grieving after a truck-carrying a pastor and his three children-was hit by a train in Clark County Thursday.
Two of the children were killed.
The father and his other child survived and are in the hospital recovering from injuries. The two children killed were Fryar’s daughters, Marley Jo and Dana Kate Fryar.
Head pastor of Crossroads Cowboy Church, Ron Riddle, said Chad Fryar and his three children were the ones in that truck. Fryar is the pastor of the church branch in Bismarck.
“I cried a lot of tears yesterday,” Riddle said. “Chad and Rachel have become like our own children. Their kids called us Nana and Po.”
The church is no stranger to tragedy, even this year. However, Riddle said they have already learned how to get through times like this together.
“My other granddaughter passed away about six months ago,” Riddle said. “It has brought our church family closer because of that, and I know this is going to as well.”
Chad had just preached in Bismarck last Sunday – something he does weekly.
The message, which was streamed on the church’s Facebook account, was on seeds of faith. Riddle said faith is now what he, his church community, and the remaining Fryar family members are relying on.
“While they are devastated, their faith of God is strong it’s intact,” Riddle said.
Riddle was able to speak on the phone with Chad Friday, and said both he and his son, Bo Henry, are now stable. They are hoping to be able to go home soon.
The reality of the situation is one that leaves some questions for Riddle, like how this happened and why. But he said even with questions, his church is holding tighter than ever to something they cannot lose: their faith.
Riddle said they are trusting the Lord through the unknowns right now, which is guiding them through the heartbreak.
“Just trust that God has bigger plans, things that we cannot see yet,” Riddle said. “But I am going to have a lot of questions when I get there. Lot of questions for him. Until then, I am going to trust that he’s got this. He’s in control.”
Union Pacific Railroad is investigating the accident and has confirmed no one on the train was injured.
To find out how you can help the family, you can visit the church’s Facebook page.