Bell: Latest fatal cycle crash 'as senseless as it is frustrating'
A soldier from the Joint Multinational Readiness Group, Hohenfels (Germany) Training Area, has died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident near Velburg, Germany.
The accident happened Saturday night, according to Joint Multinational Training Center news release.
The soldier, whose identity is being withheld until next of kin in the States can be notified, was taken by air ambulance to the Barmherziger-Breuder Hospital in nearby Regensburg where he died Sunday afternoon, the release stated.
The soldier had completed a motorcycle safety course, according to the release, but was not wearing a helmet or any other prescribed safety gear at the time of the accident, according to a message from Gen. B.B. Bell, commander of U.S. Army Europe on the USAREUR Web site. The message listed the soldier as a married sergeant first class with several children.
“This traumatic loss of life is as senseless as it is frustrating,” Bell said in the message. “I wonder what was he thinking? Where was his safety net? Where were his battle buddies?”
The accident is under investigation by military police, Army safety officials and German police, according to the release.
It was the second motorcycle fatality in three weeks from the Grafenwöhr/Hohenfels military communities. A soldier based at the 7th Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Grafenwöhr died Sept. 7 along Highway 2168 near Eschenbach. The soldier, Staff Sgt. Perry Dews, was not wearing all of the required safety gear at the time of the accident.
Bell said in the message that 14 soldiers across the Army had died in motorcycle accidents since Memorial Day, and only four of them were junior-enlisted soldiers.
“This is not a young soldier problem,” Bell said in the message. “It is a problem with those we charge with leadership.
“To prevent motorcycle accidents, we need to extend our risk-management efforts to older, more senior [soldiers] and [noncommissioned officer] leaders — those who are supposed to be mentoring and setting the example for younger [soldiers].”