Diocesan News

Pro-lifers hit by truck in accident after prayer vigil

LINCOLN (SNR/CNA/EWTN News) - The Diocese of Lincoln is praying for several pro-life witnesses who were struck, unintentionally, by a vehicle as they were praying outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city on Good Friday.

“Please join the Diocese of Lincoln, Bishop Conley, and those involved in praying for those who were injured, and for the driver of the vehicle,” the Lincoln Diocese said in an April 14 statement. “And please join us in praying for a culture of life, an end to abortion, in union with those who were injured today.”

The driver of a white pickup “veered to the right when he tried to stop for a vehicle slowing in front of him,” the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Five persons were struck by the pickup, and a sixth was knocked down by one of those hit by the vehicle. Three teens were transported to a hospital by ambulance, with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The other three injured chose to go to the hospital with family to be examined

According to the diocese, “the roads were quite slick in that area, and traffic was heavy. There is nothing to suggest the accident was intentional.”

Cathy Bender, who participated in the prayer vigil and was taking photos of the event for the Southern Nebraska Register, was one of those hit by the pickup and injured, but not seriously. She reported that the driver of the pickup was incredibly upset over the accident and worried about the victims, exclaiming “I’m sorry” as soon as he got out of his vehicle.

The incident happened after the prayer vigil had ended and the participants were starting to leave. Bishop James Conley, who had led the stations of the cross during the prayer vigil, was still present.

After the accident, Bishop Conley and Father Brian Connor, pastor of North American Martyrs in Lincoln, prayed with the seriously-injured victims while they waited for EMTs to arrive.

Father Charles Townsend, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Lincoln, had left the scene with members of the St. John Bosco parish group. They were walking back to St. Peter Church, but returned when they heard of the accident.

Other participants sat with the victims to offer comfort, and held umbrellas over them in the rain. Still others prayed, some dropping to their knees in the rain-soaked grass.

Approximately 200 people had attended the annual prayer vigil organized by Lincoln Right to Life.

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