Three 2nd ID GIs reprimanded for deadly accident
SEOUL — Three 2nd Infantry Division soldiers were issued written reprimands in connection with a June 10 accident in which a South Korean woman was killed when struck by a U.S. Army truck.
Maj. Gen. George Higgins, 2nd ID commander, gave the reprimands to Capt. Richard Geren, company commander; Staff Sgt. Edward Winder, company master driver; and Sgt. Cassandra Cobb, vehicle commander, about two weeks ago, according to U.S. Forces Korea officials.
The driver, 19-year-old Pfc. Jeff Bryant, received no punishment but was directed to receive additional training.
The reprimands were issued “because a U.S. investigation disclosed that these leaders failed to properly perform their duties as supervisors,” according to a USFK statement.
A letter of reprimand can prove adverse to a soldier during any sort of merit selection process, like promotions, schooling and assignments, USFK officials said.
The officials also said additional safety measures were implemented after a sweeping safety assessment.
Selected routes in high-density areas now are off-limits to military vehicles, greater emphasis is placed on driver training and some vehicle dispatch regulations — such as route selection — were revised.
And per Army regulation, vehicles similar to the 2.5-ton truck involved in the accident now have fish-eye mirrors mounted so drivers can see in the “blind spot” directly in front of the vehicle.
Higgins also visited the deceased woman’s family Tuesday night “to once more express his deep condolences,” according to the statement.
Officials said the family received compensation about a week ago but wouldn’t say how much the family was paid.
The family has told Stripes they thought the woman’s death was an accident and didn’t wish to see anyone punished.
On June 10, Bryant was on duty and driving the Army truck when it struck and killed 51-year-old Kim Myung-ja in Dongducheon, near Camp Casey. Korean police led a joint investigation with U.S. military police officers directly after the accident, officials have said.
Korean police told Stripes Kim was jaywalking when the accident happened.
They forwarded charges of “duty-related accidental homicide” to the Uijeongbu city prosecutor’s office in late June. According to the U.S.-South Korea status of forces agreement, however, the United States retains jurisdiction over possible crimes that occur when a U.S. servicemember is on duty.
USFK officials rejected a Korean request for waiver of the jurisdiction.