U.S. soldier dies in single-car crash in S. Korea
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A U.S. soldier was killed and several others injured in a single-vehicle automobile crash early Tuesday morning, officials said. Alcohol was believed to be a factor, police and military officials said Wednesday.
According to an 8th Army press release, the crash occurred around 12:45 a.m. near a bridge on Highway 4 between Waegwan and Kumi. The soldier, whose identity is being withheld until notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead on arrival at Waegwan Hospital, hospital officials said.
The four soldiers in the vehicle are assigned to the 23rd Chemical Battalion, 19th Theater Support Command, headquartered in Camp Carroll, the release said. The fifth passenger was a local civilian, officials said.
While Korean National Police officials said they still are investigating the cause of the accident, a U.S. military official said alcohol was involved.
“We need to get on top of this and educate our soldiers. We lost a soldier in an accident this weekend, and alcohol was involved,” said U.S. Forces Korea Command Sgt. Major Troy Welch on an AFN radio show Wednesday morning.
“You need to sit your soldiers down, talk to them about being responsible,” Welch said on the show.
South Korean police officials said the soldiers were traveling to Kumi City when the driver apparently lost control on the slippery road. Police are investigating with U.S. military authorities, said police Cpl. Lee Tae-young.
According to a hospital spokeswoman, the four other people in the crash were treated and released on Tuesday. Two of the passengers were treated for abrasions while the other two were treated for fractures, Oh Kyong-yon said in a telephone interview from Waegwan Hospital.