One dead, 11 injured in Fort Polk rollover accident
An Army Special Forces reservist died and 11 other soldiers were injured after several military vehicles rolled over during training in Louisiana, military officials said Thursday.
The accident took place early Wednesday at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., the Nevada National Guard said in a statement.
The incident involved several Humvees, Fort Polk spokeswoman Kim Reischling said Thursday.
The name of the deceased, who an Army official said was assigned to 1st Special Forces Command, is being withheld until 24 hours after family notification, per Pentagon policy.
Of the 11 injured, four were National Guardsmen from the Las Vegas-based 72nd Military Police Company. Two are being treated at a military hospital. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening, the statement said.
“Our sympathies go out to the family of the individual that was killed,” said Brig. Gen. William Burks, Nevada’s adjutant general. “We are closely monitoring this situation and hope for a speedy recovery to those who were injured.”
The incident is under investigation and the cause of the rollovers has not yet been determined.
“Safety is paramount in all that we do,” Burks said. “We train as we fight and unfortunately, accidents occur during realistic training in dynamic environments.”
More than 5,000 National Guard troops from several states are at the Joint Readiness Training Center this month for drills that put brigade combat teams through simulated combat, KALB-TV in Alexandria, La., reported this week.
It was the fourth fatal rollover training accident so far this year and the second in about a week.
Last week, Marine 1st Lt. Hugh C. McDowell, 24, died and six other Marines were wounded when their Light Armored Vehicle rolled over during training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on May 9. (https://legacy.stripes.com/news/us/marine-corps-identifies-platoon-commander-killed-in-camp-pendleton-accident-1.580554)
Weeks earlier, Marine special operations Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, 29, died April 14 after his MRZR tactical vehicle, an ultralight all-terrain utility vehicle, rolled during a unit training exercise at Camp Pendleton. The incident left two other special operations Marines wounded. (https://legacy.stripes.com/marine-raider-killed-in-rollover-accident-at-camp-pendleton-is-identified-1.577231)
On Jan. 14, Army Spc. Octavious Deshon Lakes Jr., 22, died when his M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle rolled over at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. Three others were injured. (For Web: https://legacy.stripes.com/news/fort-hood-soldier-killed-at-national-training-center-is-identified-1.564774)
All three of those accidents remain under investigation.