Church missionary killed while helping stranded driver in Ottawa Co.

Posted at 8:40 PM, Aug 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-18 23:32:38-04

ZEELAND, Mich. -- The family of a David Pierson says was always willing to help a stranger.

Pierson, 51, was killed while helping a stranded driver.

Those who knew Pierson say he recently started devoting his life to missionary work at Daybreak Church in Hudsonville and even helped at a poverty-stricken village in Haiti just a few months ago.

"When the family found out that he had stopped to help somebody else, it was like, oh now it makes sense," said Daybreak Church member Kris Dekker. "That's how David should go because he was always helping somebody."

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said that an 18-year-old female accidentally drove into a ditch along with her 17-year-old passenger near the intersection of Port Sheldon Street and 56th Avenue in Blendon Township on the night of August 16.

Pierson stopped to help, and soon another vehicle driven by a 22-year-old-man drove into them. The 17-year-old passenger was taken to the hospital along with Pierson, who later died of his injuries.

FOX 17 spoke with the 22-year-old man’s family. They said that he paid his respects to Pierson’s family at the hospital. Pierson's family told FOX 17 that they don't blame the driver for anything, calling the incident a "freak accident."

The driver’s family also said that they are not expecting any charges to be filed in the case.

"It was an amazing time for this man to feel that forgiveness of the family," said Dekker.

Pierson was no stranger to helping others. The father of two most recently took a trip to Haiti this past April to help poverty stricken villages.

"They do a lot of humanitarian work with kids, and they also planted a bunch of trees," said Dekker.

Dekker said that just last week Pierson taught a class at Daybreak Church on how to find your purpose in life, something Pierson had already discovered.

Pierson’s loved ones also said that even in death he is giving: his organs are being donated.

Pierson's funeral has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 22, 2014 at Daybreak Church.