Florida National Guard identifies soldier killed in military vehicle crash

By RYAN CALLIHAN | The Bradenton Herald | Published: January 20, 2018

SEBRING, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — A crash involving National Guard soldiers left one of them dead and five others injured Friday afternoon.

In a Facebook post Saturday afternoon, the Florida National Guard said Spc. Luis E. Garcia, from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's Company G Forward Support Company was killed in the crash.

According to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, three heavy-duty palletized load system vehicles were northbound on U.S. 27 near Hammock Road in Sebring when the driver of the rearmost vehicle failed to stop for a red light and struck the PLS vehicle in front.

Garcia, the driver of that vehicle, died. The other solider in the vehicle sustained serious injuries and had to be extricated, the sheriff’s office said.

Sebring Police Department initially reported three other National Guard soldiers were taken to Florida Hospital Heartland. The Florida National Guard indicated on Saturday there were a total of five soldiers that were hurt. Their conditions were not released.

The soldiers and vehicles involved were based out of a National Guard unit in Miami.

The crash was still under investigation.

Stars and Stripes reporter Lauren King contributed to this story.

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