By Stan Friedman
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (February 23, 2011) – Five hundred people gathered Tuesday night at Westmoore Community Covenant Church to pray for one of their pastors and his family, who were injured when a tractor-trailer rig slammed into their vehicle Monday night on a mountain highway in Colorado.
Executive pastor Rodney Beavers, 46, and his wife, Cindi, 44, remain hospitalized in different cities. Their 18-year-old daughter, Morgan, and 12-year-old son, Preston, were treated for minor injuries and released shortly after the accident.
Rodney is hospitalized at St. Anthony’s Hospital Trauma Center in Denver. He was responsive today, but suffered brain bleeding, a broken left shoulder that could require surgery, a broken right elbow and head and facial injuries, said Tanya Secrist, Westmoore’s executive administrator.
Cindi’s injuries are more serious than initially believed and she remains in an induced coma at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Secrist said. She suffered a collapsed lung, broken arm, broken leg, broken wrist and head and facial injuries.
According to law enforcement officials, the family was traveling uphill on Colorado State Highway 160 through Wolf Creek Pass in their sport utility vehicle around 7 p.m. Monday (initial reports listed the accident time as 10:30 p.m.). Victorian Lenniere, 31, of Houston, Texas, was driving the semi-truck carrying asphalt shingles downhill and tried to travel into the lower runaway ramp.
The tractor rolled over onto its side while the trailer continued to roll onto its top, sliding across the steep grade and striking the Beavers’ vehicle, authorities said. The impact pushed the GMC Yukon back 150 feet.
The children already have extended grace to Lenniere. After being treated at a hospital in Pagosa Springs, Morgan and Preston knew the driver of the truck felt horrible about the accident, so they sat with him in his hospital room.
The family expressed their appreciation for the prayers and personal assistance immediately provided by Covenanters. Rodney’s mother, Donna Beavers, told the Oklahoman newspaper, “He’s had so many prayers go up, and there’s so many people who love him.”
Bill Merritt, pastor of Arvada Covenant Church, heard of the accident and went to the Denver hospital where he prayed with Rodney’s parents. Westmoore lead pastor Paul Cunningham and his wife, Robin, traveled to Denver on Tuesday and were given the use of a car by a couple in the Arvada congregation for as long as needed.
A fund for the family’s medical bills has been set up at Focus Federal Credit Union. Donations can be mailed to the bank, 420 NE 10, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, or delivered in person. Donations can me made in care of the Beavers Family Medical Relief Fund.