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US soldier dies in swimming accident near Darmstadt

A Blackhawk helicopter from U.S. Army Europe’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade lands to receive simulated casualties during Exercise Wolfking in 2012. (U.S. Army Europe/Capt. Amanda Neutkens)
August 14, 2018

A U.S. soldier died last week after a swimming accident near Darmstadt, Germany, officials said.

The soldier, identified as Spc. Melvin Douglas Spruill Jr., 20, of Washington, N.C., died in a hospital after being rescued by fellow servicemembers from a lake in Riedstadt-Leeheim on the afternoon of Aug. 6, German police said.

Spruill, who joined the Army in 2016, was a petroleum supply specialist with 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, in Wiesbaden.

Spruill was a great soldier whose presence will be missed, said Lt. Col. Frank Fair, the battalion commander.

“It was an honor and a privilege to have served alongside such an enthusiastic and dedicated patriot,” Fair said. “His death is an immeasurable loss. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.”

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The incident is under investigation, Army officials said.

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