Over the summer, a recent Independence High graduate was excited to start fulfilling his calling to serve a two-year mission for the Mormon church near Los Angeles.
But family and friends were heartbroken to learn Thursday that just two months into his mission, Elder Andrew Page, 18, was hit by a car in California while he was on his bicycle and died.
The crash was an accident and Page didn’t look for oncoming traffic when he made a turn, The Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported. Although Page was wearing a helmet, he died of his injuries, including head trauma, shortly after 10 p.m. in a hospital.
On Saturday, Page’s mother, Charlotte resident Maggie Page, described her son as a peaceful, faith-filled and humorous teen. He graduated in the top 20 of his class, she said, was a Boy Scout and loved playing the tenor saxophone.
“Every single person who knew him loved him, and he was the funniest guy ever,” said his friend, Trevor Jackson. He said he grew up with Page and they played saxophone together in the Independence marching band.
“I know it sounds corny, and a lot of people say this, but he was like a brother to me,” said Jackson, who also is 18 and attends Brigham Young University.
Page’s mother said she doesn’t want anyone to blame themselves for his death.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like they have to live with that,” she said, choking up on the phone. “It was where he was supposed to be. There are sometimes things that happen in our lives, and we don’t know the answers why.”
She said her son was a source of strength for her and his three older sisters, particularly after her husband died three and a half years ago.
“He’s been such a blessing to our family, and it will be a struggle to heal the hole in my heart, but I know... this life is so temporary, and we do have eternity to look forward to,” she said.
Bryant Baker, president of the Charlotte North Carolina Central Stake in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called Page “a fine young man.”
“He was a person that people liked to be around, and he was so excited about the opportunity to serve,” Baker said.
After committing to two years of service in California, Page had planned to attend Brigham Young University.
Baker said a funeral is planned for 11 a.m. next Saturday at the Charlotte North Carolina Central Stake on Rocky River Road.
Ruebens: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @lruebens
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