A Canadian couple serving as missionaries were killed alongside their two children when their vehicle was hit in a head-on collision in South Africa on Sunday.
Missionaries Brendan Perrott, 33, his wife, Melissa, 32, their children Evelyn, 5, and Colton, 3, along with an orphan they were mentoring named Sabelo Sibeko were all killed along with four other victims when the vehicles exploded in the crash.
The Perrotts were high school sweethearts who began doing missionary work with Bulembu Ministries full time in 2016, the CBC reports. The Christian nonprofit operates a community church, a Christian academy, a health clinic, and care for about 350 orphans and vulnerable children in Bulembu. At the time of their deaths the family lived in Bulembu, a small town in the mountainous Highveld region of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland.
“They were all burnt beyond recognition. Preliminary investigations reveal that one vehicle attempted to overtake. It then collided with another on-coming vehicle,” an SABC report said.
“It’s a Navara double cab that collided with a Subaru vehicle and after they collided they also caught fire. In the Navara it had two occupants and they were declared dead, five occupants in Subaru were declared dead on the scene. All in all we lost nine lives in the accident,” Free State emergency services spokesperson Sipho Towa told SABC.
A statement from Bulembu Ministries given to Times of Swaziland said the Perrotts who are from Alberta, Canada, were returning from Sabelo’s adventure race in the Drakensberg, South Africa, when an oncoming car overtook their vehicle at an extremely high speed.
“It crossed a solid line, lost control and hit our precious family in a fatal head-on collision. We mourn and grieve for ourselves, as well as with their families, relatives and friends as we bring them home,” the Christian nonprofit said.
In another statement on Facebook, Bulembu Ministries said the Perrotts were helping Sabelo live his dream.
“Sabelo grew up and completed his schooling in Bulembu as one of our children. He was incredibly talented in sport and Brendan and Melissa encouraged and helped him live out this passion through adventure racing,” the organization said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair