DE SOTO, MO (KTVI)-- A father is killed, and his son seriously injured when the truck they were in crashed just before making a delivery to their church food pantry in De Soto, Missouri Wednesday.
The driver, Mike Akers, 58, died at the scene. His son, Chris, 19, was badly injured.
The two were in a truck belonging to their church, Emmanuel Baptist, which runs a large food bank.
At about 12:45 P.M., the large yellow box truck crashed into a tree along Highway CC, less than a mile from the church. Authorities are not sure what caused the accident but it appears Mike Akers lost control of the truck on a curve.
Akers voluntarily drove the three-times-a-week run to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
At the time of the crash, the truck was loaded with 1000 pounds of donated food.
When the truck hit the tree, the engine burst into flames, but neighbors were able to keep the fire from spreading to the cab using buckets of water until help arrived.
"It is hard on all of us," said Food Ministry Director Rodger Sansouci. "Mike was a beautiful person."
The church provides about 300 clients with food once a month, but very little of the food lost in the crash was to be distributed in this month`s allotment, which people will pick up Friday.
Church members and the pastors are focusing their thoughts and prayers on the Akers family, but they also know they are going to have to find a replacement truck to
continue the ministry.
"We could really use another box truck,' said Associate Pastor Terry Glidewell. "That lift gate helped us a lot. We`ve only had that truck a few short months and it will be missed but it is a material thing. We will be okay."
Akers used to pick up food in his own vehicle until this past spring, when on one of his trips, his truck was totaled by an uninsured driver who ran a red light.
Both Mike and Chris were injured in the crash, but recovered and returned to the mission they loved.
And now the other volunteers at Emmanuel Baptist Church seem determined to follow that example.
"I know everyone will pitch in and do what we have to do but the main thing is prayers for the family and keep to going," said volunteer Rich Tyarks.
"We will have a giveaway Friday night."
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