Church won't try to ID 'mystery priest' from Missouri crash scene

Aug. 9, 2013 at 11:15 PM
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QUINCY, Mo., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The Catholic diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., appeared to be downplaying any suggestion a priest who appeared at a car crash was a supernatural being.

A spokesman said Friday church officials have not tried to identify the priest involved, Fox News reported.

"Out of respect for the privacy of any priest who may have been involved and does not wish to come forward, the Diocese does not plan to further investigate this incident," Deacon Dan Joyce said. "The Diocese is grateful that a priest was able to exercise his ministry in this manner and requests prayers for healing of the victim, as well as prayers of thanks."

The priest appeared Sunday morning after rescue workers had been trying for an hour to remove Katie Lentz, 19, from the wreck of her car, KHQA-TV reported. She had been hit head-on by a car driven by Aaron Smith, 26.

Ralls County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Adair said he and others on the scene were puzzled at how the priest got there since the highway was blocked in both directions some distance from the crash scene. He said he was worried at first that Lentz might think she was dying if the priest came over to her but the man said he "just wanted to anoint her."

Adair said the priest anointed Lentz and prayed with her and the workers trying to get her out and then walked away. He appears in none of the photos taken at the scene.

Authorities expect Smith to face criminal charges. Lentz was still hospitalized Friday.

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