Crash kills Rota sailor as another is injured
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — One Rota-based sailor was killed and another seriously injured over the weekend in a one-car accident off base, a Navy spokesman said on Monday.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy H. Sporleder died after the car he was traveling in flipped on a road near the naval station. Petty Officer Matthew S. Hays was injured in the accident and is listed in serious but stable condition with a spinal fracture at a hospital in Cadiz, said Chief Petty Officer Dan Smithyman, a base spokesman.
Spanish authorities are investigating the incident, which happened around midnight on Friday. The Diario de Cadiz reported on Sunday that the sailors were driving on A-491. It hasn’t been confirmed whether alcohol was involved.
The accident in Rota happened less than a week after three sailors from Naples, Italy, were killed in an automobile crash on a main highway near the city. Two sailors were seriously burned.
Sporleder, 31, of Climax Springs, Mo., was in the Navy just over four years and served as an aviation maintenance administration man with the base’s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Unit. Hays, 31, of Vancouver, Wash., is an aviation support equipment technician who also is assigned to the detachment, an engine repair shop scheduled to close next year.
Details of the crash are sketchy.
Sometime after the car rolled over, Hays — with a broken back — climbed from the wreckage and flagged down Spanish Guardia Civil officers, Smithyman said. The officers took Hays to the base hospital for initial treatment. Around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, officers found the wrecked car and discovered Sporleder dead at the scene.
The full extent of Hays’ injuries is still being evaluated.
A memorial service for Sporleder is planned for this week but the time and date has not been determined.