SEOUL — A U.S. Army officer died last Friday after he was hit by a city bus while crossing a street in the busy Gangnam area of Seoul.
Capt. David C. Haas, 30, was stationed at Camp Carroll with the 403rd Army Field Support Battalion-Northeast Asia, according to 8th Army spokesman Col. Andrew Mutter.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time,” Mutter said.
The accident took place around 11:45 p.m., when Haas and an American friend visiting from Japan illegally crossed a major road in Gangnam near the Kyobo Tower, according to the head of the Gangnam police station traffic investigation section. The bus was traveling at 50 kilometers per hour — approximately 30 mph — in a bus-only lane when it struck Haas.
An ambulance transported Haas to the Gangnam Severance Hospital, but he died before arrival. His friend was not injured.
The men were heading to a nearby pub when the accident occurred, the police said. However, the traffic investigator said neither the bus driver nor Haas were intoxicated.
The traffic investigator said the bus driver is being investigated for professional negligence.
According to The Associated Press, Haas had served two tours in Iraq and graduated from the University of Richmond in Virginia. The Brunswick, Maine, native also interned in 2004 at the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, according to a press release from the senator.
“I am incredibly saddened to learn of the death of Capt. Haas,” Collins said in the release. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family, and I hope that it is a comfort to those who loved David that so many people will always remember his dedication and service to his country.”
Haas is survived by his parents.
Haas’ unit will hold a memorial service at Camp Carroll’s Community Activities Center on Aug. 9. A memorial service will be held in Brunswick next week.
Mutter said road safety training continues to be a major emphasis for U.S. Forces Korea personnel, including those stationed in Seoul, one of the world’s largest cities.
“Whenever you’re in a major metropolitan area, there’s always traffic, there’s always congestion,” he said.
The last time a USFK servicemember was killed while crossing the street was in January 2009, when a soldier was struck by a bus while trying to cross a nine-lane road in Seoul.