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Navy Seabee who died in military vehicle collision on California freeway is identified

Equipment Operator 3rd Class Aaron Fish assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5, died in a military convoy crash on March 2, 2021. (Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Five/Released)

Navy officials have released the name of the 26-year-old sailor who died in a crash on the 5 freeway Tuesday, March 2, as a military convoy traveled to Camp Pendleton.

Equipment Operator 3rd Class Aaron Fish, from Tully, New York, was a Seabee who served with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 at Port Hueneme in Ventura. He had recently been meritoriously promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class.

Fish enlisted in the Navy on March 29, 2018.

Five other sailors were injured during the collision. Four were taken to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and one to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. All five have been released, Navy officials said Thursday, March 4.

Five vehicles were involved in the crash, four MK-31 tractors and trailers and one MK-28 cargo truck.

The caravan was traveling south along the 5 freeway just past Basilone Road when the collision occurred. They were heading to the Marine base to retrieve equipment from a recent field training exercise. The California Highway Patrol and military officials are investigating the crash.

Fish previously deployed with his battalion to Guam, where he helped assist with engineering to construct an expeditionary medical facility at the naval base there as part of the Department of Defense’s fight against COVID-19, said Lt. Cdr. Amber Lewis, with the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

Fish was Seabee Combat Warfare qualified. He recently received a Flag Letter of Commendation from the Joint Region Marianas for his COVID-19 efforts in Guam.

“(The battalion) extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends for EO3 Fish,” said Cmdr. Ryan Carey, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion-5’s commanding officer. “Through my personal encounters with him and many conversations with his shipmates over recent days, Aaron is a cherished member of our team who loved his work, helping others and making people smile.”

“As we mourn the loss of Aaron, I want to extend my gratitude to Aaron’s family, who has been so gracious during this most difficult time, and for the rallying support from Seabees here in Port Hueneme and around the globe,” he said. “(The battalion) is so grateful for our time with Aaron. We miss him deeply.”

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(c) 2021 The Orange County Register

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