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Spc. Luis Herrera, 23, died Thursday, April 28, 2022, in a vehicle training accident at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Spc. Luis Herrera, 23, died Thursday, April 28, 2022, in a vehicle training accident at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Courtesy of Fort Bragg)

A 23-year-old paratrooper from Marion, N.C., died Thursday in a vehicle training accident at Fort Bragg, the North Carolina base said Friday.

Spc. Luis Herrera was participating in routine training at the time of the crash, which involved three other soldiers. He was assigned to Raider Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, the base said in a prepared statement.

“Spc. Herrera was an exceptional paratrooper and an engaged friend to all those who knew him. Luis was a soldier’s soldier who always led by example and never missed a chance to leave a positive impact on those around him,” said Col. Theodore Kleisner, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division. “Our brigade was made better by the selfless service of Spc. Herrera. The leaders and paratroopers of 1st Brigade Combat Team are committed to ensuring every resource is available to his family and peers to help them through this difficult time.”

Herrera is survived by his wife, parents, family, and friends, Fort Bragg said. His battalion is planning a memorial service to honor him in the coming weeks.

“Our thoughts and prayers, along with the paratroopers of ‘Geronimo’ 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, are with Spc. Herrera’s wife and loved ones as we mourn the loss of Luis,” said Capt. Daigoroh Abreu, his company commander. “Big Lou’s’ presence was a gift to us all, and his radiant smile brought warmth to all who knew him.”

The other three soldiers involved in the crash were treated at Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Medical Center. One has been released from the hospital while the other soldiers were admitted for treatment and observation.

The paratrooper’s death was the second fatal Army training accident in less than a week. Pfc. Joseph A. Marquez, 20, died Monday in a single-vehicle crash during training at the Yakima Training Center near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Two soldiers also were injured in the accident.

No details were released about either crash and both are under investigation.

Herrera enlisted in the Army in November 2017 as an infantryman and served two deployments to Kuwait, according to Fort Bragg. His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Parachutist Badge.

Thayer.rose@stripes.com

Twitter: @Rose_Lori

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Rose L. Thayer is based in Austin, Texas, and she has been covering the western region of the continental U.S. for Stars and Stripes since 2018. Before that she was a reporter for Killeen Daily Herald and a freelance journalist for publications including The Alcalde, Texas Highways and the Austin American-Statesman. She is the spouse of an Army veteran and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. Her awards include a 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Washington Dateline Award and an Honorable Mention from the Military Reporters and Editors Association for her coverage of crime at Fort Hood.
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