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21-year-old US Navy sailor dies after crashing scooter in WA

The Gold Crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731) transits the Hood Canal as the boat returns home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a routine strategic deterrent patrol. Alabama is one of eight ballistic-missile submarines stationed at the base, providing the most survivable leg of the strategic deterrence triad for the United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray/Released)
May 31, 2019

On May 18, a 21-year-old sailor based on the USS Alabama submarine died after he crashed his moped in Washington two weeks earlier.

Missile Technician 3rd Class Nathan A. Castor crashed his 2006 Yamaha Chappy into a guardrail on a two-lane road south of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor on April 30, according to the Navy Times.

Robert Castor, Nathan’s father said his son suffered lung, heart, and brain injuries that were very significant, and he was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and remained in a coma for 18 days.

“There was no coming back” from his injuries,” Robert Castor said.

Nathan Castor was a member of the ballistic missile submarine Alabama’s Blue Crew and had been in the Navy for two years, and had just reached E-5 rank.

“It’s surreal. I still don’t believe this has happened. I want to wake up and hope it’s not true but in reality, I know it is. It’s just day by day. There are so many things that help me get through it. The military has been wonderful,” Robert Castor told WKRG News.

The sheriff’s office confirmed that Nathan Castor was wearing a helmet, but it was “badly damaged” and flew off during the accident. Speed was determined to be a factor in the accident.

Robert Castor said his son bought the moped on a Saturday and crashed it days later on Tuesday. He had completed a motorcycle safety course on base.

Nathan Castor was a Florida native who loved paddle boarding, kayaking, and snowboarding. He added that his son adored submarine life and was “initiated into the Royal Order of the Shellbacks when his boat crossed the equator,” the Navy Times said.

“He loved it. He was one of the few selected to come up and go swimming in the middle of nowhere. It sounded fun and scary at the same time,” Robert said.

Robert Castor said his son’s kidneys and liver were donated to three patients in need. “We feel great about it. Just to know he helped somebody else one last time,” he said.

Nathan Castor will be buried at Barrancas National Cemetery next to his grandfather who served in the Navy for 30 years. He was Nathan’s inspiration for joining the Navy, his father said.

The Navy Times reported that Nathan Castor is “at least the 13th sailor to die in a motorcycle, moped or scooter accident since the federal fiscal year began on Oct. 1.”