Airman hospitalized after car collides with truck
By MATT MILLHAM | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 8, 2014
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A 39-year-old airman is in serious condition after his BMW collided with a dump truck Thursday morning outside Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The airman, who has not been identified by German or American authorities, was airlifted to a hospital in Ludwigshafen, roughly 50 miles east of where the accident occurred. A spokeswoman for the German police in nearby Landstuhl said the airman suffered severe head trauma.
The truck and the BMW sedan were headed in opposite directions on the L356 near the Azur outdoor swimming pool. The truck driver told police that the BMW had driven into his lane, causing the crash. A witness told police both vehicles had wandered over the center line.
Because of the damage to the BMW, rescuers had to cut the roof off of the vehicle to extract the airman, who was unconscious. The truck driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries to his shoulder and torso, police said.
German first responders typically transport patients to German facilities regardless of nationality, a spokeswoman for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center said. The accident happened about 7 miles from LRMC, which is the military’s only top-level trauma center overseas. The hospital the victim was airlifted to is also a trauma center.
The accident is at least the second major collision involving an airman in the Ramstein area in the last six months.
In December, an airman died after slamming into a boulder in a one-car crash on the base. Results of the investigation into that crash still haven’t been released. Early reports in that case said that Airman 1st Class Jonathan Santos-Carvajal lost control of his car while trying to pass another vehicle.
Stars and Stripes reporter Marcus Kloeckner contributed to this report.