Subscribe

AVIANO, Italy — A spate of serious auto accidents — including one that caused the deaths of an airman and his wife — and several drunken-driving incidents have prompted the commander at Aviano Air Base to reinforce safe behavior at the facility.

Brig. Gen. Robert Yates, 31st Fighter Wing commander, on Wednesday declared a “safety stand-down” day. All military members were required to attend briefings focusing on driver safety.

The most recent accident occurred about 12:20 p.m. Tuesday in the nearby town of Forcate. Senior Airman Angela Strotz of the 31st Comptroller Squadron was injured in the crash and remained in critical condition at an Italian hospital, according to Master Sgt. Carole Steele, an Aviano spokeswoman. Strotz had to be airlifted to the hospital.

Base spokesmen did not provide any information about the crash until Thursday, and then did not give additional details about what might have caused it or if anyone else were involved.

The accident is under investigation, Steele said.

Also on Tuesday, the wife of a military member and her child were injured in an accident about 10:20 a.m. The two were treated for minor injuries. Steele refused to release further information about that crash.

The first DUIs of June also occurred last week, with Aviano-based personnel getting charged on Saturday morning and Tuesday morning. Base spokesmen did not provide additional details on those cases.

The accidents and DUIs come on the heels of a June 16 accident in which Tech. Sgt. Michael Knight and his pregnant wife, Laura, were killed when their vehicle and a gravel truck collided near Aviano.

Another safety briefing is scheduled for June 30, the day before the start of the July 4 weekend, Steele said.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now