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US airman admits to drinking before accident, Okinawa prosecutors say

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A U.S. airman has admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol, which led to a traffic crash on Okinawa earlier this month, the Naha District Prosecutor’s Office said Thursday.

Senior Master Sgt. Eric Simmons, 41, of Kadena Air Base, was released from Japanese custody earlier this week following his admission of drinking. He also admitted to rear-ending a vehicle and fleeing the scene of the collision around 11:30 p.m. Feb. 10 near Uruma, said Nobutaka Hiramitsu, deputy chief of the prosecutor’s office.

The prosecutor’s office said it will now seek to file criminal charges against Simmons.

The island has been under curfew, and servicemembers have been forbidden from drinking or being drunk off base for the last three months following a string of crime and embarrassing alcohol-fueled incidents.

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