New Hope Community Church in the US state of Texas is mourning the family of their pastor, Mark McDaniel, who was driving when his wife and daughter were killed in a car crash at the weekend.
The crash unfolded while Pastor McDaniel was driving his family home from Christian Academy basketball game. His wife, Brandi, and daughter, Hannah, were both killed in the incident. Pastor McDaniel was the only survivor.
Details surrounding the crash, which took place in Big Spring, West Texas, are yet to be confirmed by The Texas Department of Public Transportation.
While awaiting for official confirmation about the details of the accident, the congregation is coming together to support Pastor McDaniel, the lone survivor of the tragic crash.
On Sunday, church leaders led the congregation in a dedicated service at New Hope to grieve for their pastor’s family and pray for him.
Church leaders said "We are gathered together this morning as a group of wounded healers…It's not a normal day by any means. Each of you have woken up in an altered state of reality. And normal has left the building."
As the tight-knit community grapples with the shock, local schools in the district are paying tribute to Hannah by donning their school colours throughout the week. The vibrant spirit of the young girl, now tragically lost, is remembered and honoured by those who knew her.
Hannah's school, PCA, released a statement saying, in part, "Hannah was more than just a student; she was a friend, a classmate, a teammate, and a source of inspiration to those around her… We are a community of believers and our faith in Jesus Christ will get us through this difficult time."
More details on the crash are expected to be released soon.