Sonada — Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong and Father Mathew Vellankal died in a road accident in California, United States.
Both were alumni of Salesian College Sonada batches 1969 and 1978 respectively.
The accident occurred October 10 when the two were traveling to Clearlake in California along with Father Joseph Parekkatt, another Indian priest.
Their car had an accident in Colussa County, California, according to a press note issued by Rev. George Mockel of the office of the Vicar General of Oakland Diocese California.
Father Joseph Parekkatt, pastor of St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, was also injured in the collision. He is in stable condition at Santa Rosa Hospital, Oakland diocese officials said Saturday.
“Father Vellankal’s joyous spirit and faith will be deeply missed,” Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, said.
The crash happened about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, when a Toyota Prius with the three men was hit by a tractor-trailer truck on State Route 20 near Wilbur Springs, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Salesian Archbishop Jala was 68.
Father Vellankal, 58, was the pastor of St. Isidore Parish in Danville, California, since 2016.