Memorial to be held for couple killed in Aviano car crash
June 20, 2006
AVIANO, Italy — A memorial service will be held at noon Thursday in Aviano Air Base’s hangar one for a noncommissioned officer and his pregnant wife who were killed Friday in a car collision.
Tech. Sgt. Michael Knight, 35, of the 31st Maintenance Operations Squadron, and his wife, Laura, 32, were driving Friday when they collided head-on with a gravel truck, according to 1st Lt. Nicole Dubnicay, an air base spokeswoman.
Italian media reports over the weekend stated that the accident happened at about 5:15 p.m. Friday, as the couple drove toward Roverto in Piano with their 3-year-old child in the backseat. The child suffered a broken arm, according to the Italian reports, and Dubnicay said Monday that the child was treated and released.
Laura was six months pregnant at the time, according to the Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, an Italian news agency.
A memorial fund for the orphaned child is being organized, Dubnicay said Monday in an e-mail.
Privacy laws prevent air base personnel from commenting directly on the child’s current custody or long-term arrangements, Dubnicay said. She said similar concerns prevented her from releasing the child’s name.
“The Air Force is working actively with local authorities to ensure he receives the proper care,” she said Monday in the e-mail.
Italian authorities are conducting an investigation of the crash, Dubnicay said, and the Air Force will also look into what caused the wreck, and if such circumstances can be avoided in the future.
Michael Knight died upon impact, while Laura Knight died while being treated at the nearby Udine University Hospital.
He had been stationed at Aviano since September 2003, Dubnicay said.
At this time, alcohol is not suspected to have played a part in the crash, but that will be determined during the investigation, Dubnicay said, adding that who was at fault in the wreck will also be determined.