Luke Carter and Eli Fowler

Luke Carter and Eli Fowler

This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. with additional information from the preliminary crash investigation.

The two men pronounced dead at the scene of a car crash Tuesday morning in far northeastern Denton were missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a news release from the church Wednesday.

Luke Masakazu Carter, 18, of Utah and Eli Jon Fowler, 20, of Colorado were in a pickup that was involved in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday morning at East Sherman Drive (FM428) and FM2153, church officials and local authorities said.

A third man from the other vehicle involved was taken to a local hospital Tuesday morning. Denton police spokesperson Amy Cunningham said Wednesday afternoon that man’s condition is unknown.

The Denton Police Department’s preliminary investigation found that the driver of a Ford F-250 was traveling southbound on Sherman when he crossed into the northbound lane, striking a Toyota Tacoma nearly head-on. Carter and Fowler were the occupants of the Tacoma.

According to the church, the two were assigned to the Texas Fort Worth Mission and began their service last year.

Cunningham said officers are still working to determine what factors contributed to the crash.

The crash was reported around 10:53 a.m. Tuesday. Denton and other parts of North Texas have seen heavy rainfall over the past few days, and Cunningham said the weather will be a factor in the department’s investigation.

All lanes of East Sherman were closed from Warschun Road to FM2153 until about 2:45 p.m. while investigators worked through the crash.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office identified Fowler as one of the crash victims by Wednesday afternoon and noted he was the passenger. The medical examiner ruled his cause of death as an accident from blunt trauma due to the crash, with 11:03 a.m. listed as the time of death.

ZAIRA PEREZ can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @zairalperez.

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