CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A second U.S. soldier who was riding in a car that crashed into a signpost near Camp Foster early Saturday has died.

Army Sgt. Kenneth J. Thomas, 25, assigned to an Army unit on Kadena Air Base, was pronounced dead at 2:13 p.m. Sunday at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, according to a duty police officer at Okinawa prefectural police headquarters in Naha.

Thomas had been treated at the hospital’s intensive care unit after the accident, which occurred about 4:48 a.m. Saturday on Highway 130 in front of the Marine Corps Base Fire Station.

A car driven by Staff Sgt. Byron Anthony West, 39, and carrying two other soldiers from his unit slammed against a steel signpost on the roadside as they traveled eastbound on the highway.

Thomas, who was riding in the back seat, was the second fatality in the accident.

Sgt. Richard Thomas Smith, 27, who was in the car’s passenger seat, was pronounced dead at 6:45 a.m. Saturday at the hospital, according to the police report. West was listed in stable condition as of Sunday, the police officer in Naha said. Okinawa police earlier said that military authorities suspect alcohol may have been involved.

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