EMERSON — Kyra Lynn Karr, a Southern Baptist missionary to Italy and member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, was killed in a traffic accident Thursday evening, Aug. 13 in Bartow County.
News reports indicate a tractor-trailer driver exited his vehicle to conduct a safety inspection but the safety brake was not engaged and the truck began to roll. The vehicle hit the pickup in which Karr was traveling, crushing it against the highway guardrail. The big truck spilled its load of hazardous material, which slowed rescue efforts, according to news reports.
Karr, 30, died at the scene. Her husband, Reid, was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta and their two youngest children to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, where they were treated and released. Their oldest child was not with them at the time.
The tractor-trailer driver, Ivan Delgado, 52, of Rome, N.Y., was arrested and charged with DUI, police said.
“She was one of the most wonderful, godly young ladies you could know,” said Tabernacle Baptist pastor Don Hattaway. “She was energetic, kind, articulate, beautiful, and a great mother and wife.”
The Karrs, who spoke at Tabernacle Sunday night, had been in the States since mid-June and were returning home after a family outing Thursday evening to prepare to fly back to Italy the next day. Hattaway and a group had worked with the Karrs in Italy earlier this summer, and he spoke to their commitment to their work among churches, university students, and planting a church.
“Kyra was part of a street ministry to those caught in sex trafficking as well as to refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Italy,” he added.
The Karrs were appointed as IMB missionaries in 2009 and have been serving in Rome. They were about to return to the field for their third term of service after a brief stateside assignment. She was a graduate of the University of Georgia and grew up in Tabernacle Baptist Church. She and her family also were related to Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY.
Funeral arrangements are pending.