Investigation still ongoing in death of airman in Kosovo crash
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The U.S. military is trying to determine the cause of a vehicle crash that killed an airman and injured three other servicemembers last Sunday in Kosovo.
Airman 1st Class Portica N. Beckton, 22, died from injuries she received when the car she and three others were riding in rolled over near the Serbian province’s capital of Pristina, according to an e-mail sent from Maj. Cotton Puryear, a spokesman for Multi-National Task Force (East).
Andersen Air Force Base in Guam is Beckton’s home base, but she was on temporary duty at Camp Bondsteel’s postal detachment. The task force’s provost marshal’s office continues to investigate the crash.
The airmen were on their way back to Camp Bondstell from Pristina, Puryear wrote in an e-mail. No other vehicles were involved.
The three other airmen injured while traveling in the same vehicle were treated and released from Camp Bondsteel’s medical facility and returned to duty, according to a military press release.
About 1,500 Americans are serving as peacekeepers in the NATO-led force in Kosovo, according to the U.S. military’s Kosovo Web site.
Beckton’s body was transported via military cargo plane last Tuesday from Pristina. A photograph posted on the military’s Web site showed U.S. servicemembers saluting her flag-draped coffin before it was loaded onto an Air Force C-130.
In the release, Brig. Gen. Douglas Earhart, commander of international forces in MNTF (East), called the incident a “terrible tragedy.”