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Fort Bragg paratrooper ID’d as motorcyclist who died in Fayetteville crash

Sergeant David Eugene Hughes Jr., 32, of Fresno, California, died in a motorcycle crash on Sept. 4, 2020. (U.S. Army/Released)

Fort Bragg officials have identified an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper as the motorcyclist who died Friday in a crash in Fayetteville.

Sgt. David Eugene Hughes Jr., 32, of Fresno, California, was an unmanned aerial vehicle operator assigned to the division’s A Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment.

Hughes was a committed noncommissioned officer and a beloved member of the unit known as the ”Saber family,” said Lt. Col. Margaret Stick, commander of the squadron.

“The shock of his sudden passing has been felt throughout the formation,” Stick said. ”Although only with the formation for a few short months, his professionalism, competence and caring demeanor made him an invaluable member of the team — a true friend and mentor. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

In a news release Friday, Fayetteville police said Hughes was ejected after his motorcycle ran off the road and hit a utility pole just after 11:30 p.m. on Raeford Road near South Raeford Road. It was a single-vehicle crash, police said.

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Hughes’ awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal with knot device, National Defense Service Medal, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Army Aviator Badge.

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© 2020 The Fayetteville Observer