Fort Lee officer dies after vehicle falls on him while helping stranded motorist

Col. Gregory Townsend accepts the organizational colors at the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade change-of-command Ceremony in 2017. Townsend died of injuries he sustained when a vehicle fell on him while he was helping a stranded motorist.


By HOWARD KOPLOWITZ | Alabama Media Group | Published: April 25, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Tribune News Service) A soldier died in the hospital days after he was injured while helping a motorist change a tire on a Virginia highway, his command said Wednesday.

Col. Gregory S. Townsend, commander of the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade at Fort Lee in Virginia, died on Monday, according to the U.S. Quartermaster School.

Townsend, 46, was driving on U.S. Highway 460 on April 18 when he stopped to help a motorist change a tire. After he finished changing the tire, the vehicle fell on Townsend. He was taken by helicopter to Virginia Commonwealth University Critical Care Hospital in Richmond, Va., where he received treatment until his death.

Townsend grew up in Alabama and attended Auburn University. Shortly after graduating Auburn, he entered the Army in May 1996 and was commissioned through ROTC into the Quartermaster Corps.

"He was a dedicated leader and the most genuine man you could meet," said Brig. Gen. Douglas M. McBride Jr., 55th Quartermaster General and commandant of the Quartermaster School. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg's family and friends during this very difficult time."

Townsend was deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan before assuming command of the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade at Fort Lee in July 2017.

His awards and decorations included the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Staff Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
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