Tragic Yongsan Garrison crash strikes American family on graduation day
By KIM GAMEL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 9, 2018
SEOUL, South Korea — An American family headed to a high school graduation ceremony on Yongsan Garrison was struck by tragedy on Saturday when their car was involved in a fatal collision with a motorcycle.
The crash, which occurred outside Gate 13, killed two people — one American and the South Korean motorcycle driver — and injured another American, garrison spokesman Wes Hayes told Stars and Stripes.
Hayes declined to identify the casualties and said the cause of the crash remained under investigation.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims of this tragic accident today,” Hayes said.
Many members of the community gathered at a chapel on post after the graduation ceremony to console each other and grieve.
A person at the chapel said the fatality was an American girl who was with her family on the way to watch her brother graduate from Seoul American High School. Her father, a civilian, was reportedly in critical condition.
The gate, which is the main entrance for visitors to enter the sprawling military base in Seoul, was closed for most of the morning while Military Police investigated the crash site. It reopened in the afternoon.
The crash left both vehicles in flames. Hayes said the garrison fire department worked with local Yongsan firefighters to extinguish the fire and the casualties were transported to hospitals.
Officials with the Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific agency did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The graduation ceremony was held in the Collier Field House, which is near the gate where the crash occurred.