Fort Liberty’s All American Gate at the North Carolina Army installation formerly known as Fort Bragg.

Fort Liberty’s All American Gate at the North Carolina Army installation formerly known as Fort Bragg. (Corey Dickstein/Stars and Stripes)

An 82nd Airborne Division signal officer was killed last week after the electronic bike that he was riding near Fort Liberty, N.C., was struck by a minivan, police and Army officials said Wednesday.

Army Capt. John Nicholson died Jan. 11 at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, N.C. He was rushed to the hospital after being struck just after 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, according to officials. Nicholson, 30, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, division officials said.

He had been stationed at Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg, since 2021 after commissioning into the Army in 2016, according to the service.

His awards included two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge, according to the 82nd Airborne Division.

Nicholson is survived by his mother and father, according to the division.

Nicholson was traveling on his e-bike in the left lane of Reilly Road near Morgantown Road, less than a mile off Fort Liberty, when the minivan struck him from behind, Fayetteville police said last week. The police initially identified the victim only as a Fort Liberty soldier without providing a name.

Fayetteville police this week announced the minivan driver, Robert Troy Damron, had been charged with Nicholson’s death. Damron, 61, faces a misdemeanor death by vehicle charge, a driving on a revoked license charge and a failure to reduce speed charge from the incident. He turned himself in to the Cumberland County jail on Tuesday and has been released on an unsecured $50,000 bail, according to court records.

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Corey Dickstein covers the military in the U.S. southeast. He joined the Stars and Stripes staff in 2015 and covered the Pentagon for more than five years. He previously covered the military for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia. Dickstein holds a journalism degree from Georgia College & State University and has been recognized with several national and regional awards for his reporting and photography. He is based in Atlanta.

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