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Former pastor saved by helmet and 'the hand of God'

Keith Nash sits with his wife, Saundra, in their living room on Monday, July 2. A helmet and "the hand of god" saved his life in a motorcycle crash last month. Abbie Lambert / Forum News Service

MITCHELL, S.D.—Keith Nash, former pastor of the Mitchell Wesleyan Church, has always had a love for motorcycles. As a young boy he rode motorcycles with his father and later in life he went on many long-distance trips with friends. But now he says it might be time to retire his bike after a recent motorcycle crash with his son.

On June 10, while traveling on South Dakota Highway 38, Nash started to make a right turn, but his son, Aaron, did not see him turn. The second motorcycle did not slow down enough and ran into the back of the first motorcycle, according to the crash report from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. What ensued, Nash said, was a low-speed collision that caused both him and his son to be thrown from their bikes.

Nash was knocked unconscious and spent two nights in the hospital suffering from a brain bleed and broken collarbone. His son received a large gash on his leg from the crash. Both men walked away from the crash alive, and Nash believes it was because of their helmets and the hand of God.

"I landed on the side of my head and my shoulder," he said. "My helmet saved my life."

Nash and his son are big believers in wearing protective gear, including helmets, when operating a motorcycle and the recent incident confirmed that belief.

"You're vulnerable on a motorcycle," Nash explained. "A helmet is critical to protecting the most valuable parts of your body."

Although no decision has been made on whether Nash will ride again, he believes it may be time to retire the pastime he has loved since he was a little boy.

"They tell you if you fall off a horse you get back on again, but I don't know this time," he said.

Even if Nash decides to veer from his pastime of riding motorcycles, he has a lot of other projects to focus his attention.

In 2016, Nash and his wife, Saundra, started working part-time for the mission agency Global Partners after serving the Mitchell Wesleyan Church for 32 years. Since then the couple has spent time in Nepal participating in missionary work. This August they will be returning to the area to help their mission agency expand its involvement into neighboring countries, including India. When the couple is on American soil, Nash and his wife also provide congregational support to the Linwood Wesleyan Church in Sioux Falls.

As for the June accident, Nash couldn't be more grateful for the outcome and he truly believes God was watching over him and his son.

"It could've been a lot worse. God protected us," he said. "He has purposes beyond our plans."