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AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — An Aviano airman died Saturday while hiking with friends near Lake Barcis.

Airman 1st Class Zachary Weber, 21, of the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was fatally injured in a fall, according to a 31st Fighter Wing news release.

A memorial service has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday at Hanger 1 on the base.

Two other hikers lost sight of Weber but heard falling rocks and breaking branches while hiking Saturday afternoon. They called rescue personnel, who located Weber after a search of about 2½ hours. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a local coroner.

Lake Barcis and the town that bears the same name are located almost directly north of Aviano, with several mountains in between. A few small roads that wind through the southern edge of the Dolomites mountain range connect the valley with the large plain to the south.

Word of Weber’s death circulated quickly around the base.

“We wish his family, squadron mates and the entire Aviano community strength, heartfelt condolences and wisdom as we struggle to cope with the loss of a young and vibrant life,” Brig. Gen. Robert Yates, wing commander, stated in the release.

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