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Spc. Mackenzie L. Shay, 20, was killed in a crash Oct. 22, 2022. The accident occurred at Fort Indiantown Gap in southeastern Pennsylvania involving a pair of cargo vehicles during a training exercise.

Spc. Mackenzie L. Shay, 20, was killed in a crash Oct. 22, 2022. The accident occurred at Fort Indiantown Gap in southeastern Pennsylvania involving a pair of cargo vehicles during a training exercise. (Facebook)

A National Guard soldier who was killed last month during a training accident in Pennsylvania was crushed when the vehicle that she was driving ran into the back of another vehicle, according to new details from Army officials.

Spc. Mackenzie L. Shay was driving an M1120 Load Handling System on the range at Fort Indiantown Gap on Oct. 22 when the accident happened. The installation, about 25 miles northeast of Harrisburg, is a National Guard training center and serves as the headquarters of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Officials initially said Shay and three other troops were training with the tactical vehicles during a supply mission drill on a remote part of the installation, which is also the headquarters for the state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The M1120 is used to transport large equipment on its flatbed in the rear.

Soldiers operate an M1120 Load Handling System on the cantonment area during installation training operations July 24, 2018, at Fort McCoy, Wis. The truck is an eight-wheel drive, diesel-powered, tactical truck used by the U.S. military and others. In the Army, the M1120 can be equipped with several different styles of flat racks for the load handling system.

Soldiers operate an M1120 Load Handling System on the cantonment area during installation training operations July 24, 2018, at Fort McCoy, Wis. The truck is an eight-wheel drive, diesel-powered, tactical truck used by the U.S. military and others. In the Army, the M1120 can be equipped with several different styles of flat racks for the load handling system. (Scott Sturkol/U.S. Army)

Army officials said in a report issued this week that two M1120s were traveling single file on a tank trail to pick up ammunition dunnage at the base when the second loading vehicle, driven by Shay, rear-ended the first.

“The first vehicle's flat rack entered and crushed the driver’s side of the second LHS vehicle’s cab,” the Army said in a statement. “The driver of the second LHS was unresponsive and did not have a pulse when the other soldiers in the convoy extracted her from the vehicle.”

Shay, 20, died at the scene. The others involved in the accident were taken to a hospital as a precaution, but officials said they received no serious injuries. Shay was a petroleum supply specialist assigned to the 28th Infantry Division’s G Company in the 128th Brigade Support Battalion.

The M1120 is one of several Ground Mobility Vehicles that are used by the U.S. military. Officials noted Shay’s death was the first GMV-involved fatality of fiscal 2023, which began Oct. 1.

The Army said an average of nine soldiers have died annually in GMV accidents during the past four years.

Fort Indiantown Gap, formerly known as the Edward Martin Military Reservation, was built in 1931 and later demobilized nearly 500,000 American troops following the end of World War II before they returned to civilian life.

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Doug G. Ware covers the Department of Defense at the Pentagon. He has many years of experience in journalism, digital media and broadcasting and holds a degree from the University of Utah. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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