One U.S. soldier was killed and three other soldiers injured in a military vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on Fort Bragg, the XVIII Airborne Corps confirmed to American Military News on Friday.
The deceased soldier was identified as 23-year-old Spc. Luis Herrera, who was assigned to Raider Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
The three injured soldiers received treatment at the scene and were transported to Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) for further treatment. One soldier was released and the two others remain hospitalized for treatment and observation.
“Our thoughts and prayers, along with the Paratroopers of ‘Geronimo’ 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, are with Spc. Herrera’s wife and loved ones as we mourn the loss of Luis,” Capt. Daigoroh Abreu, Herrera’s company commander, said in a statement provided to American Military News. “Big Lou’s’ presence was a gift to us all, and his radiant smile brought warmth to all who knew him.”
Herrera is survived by his wife, parents, and other family members. A memorial will be held in his honor by the 2-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment in the upcoming weeks.
“Spc. Herrera was an exceptional Paratrooper and an engaged friend to all those who knew him. Luis was a Soldier’s Soldier who always led by example and never missed a chance to leave a positive impact on those around him,” said Col. Theodore Kleisner, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. “Our brigade was made better by the selfless service of Spc. Herrera. The leaders and Paratroopers of 1st Brigade Combat Team are committed to ensuring every resource is available to his family and peers to help them through this difficult time.”
Herrera had enlisted as an infantryman in the Army in November 2017. He served on two deployments to Kuwait, and was the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Parachutist Badge.
“We are saddened by death of one of our own as a result of a vehicle accident today,” Maj. Gen. Brian Mennes, Deputy Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, said in a press release provided to American Military News. “Our heart goes out to the Soldier’s family and friends as we collectively mourn the loss of this Soldier.”
An investigation into the incident is underway.
Military vehicle accidents have been prevalent and the issue doesn’t seem to be improving.
In October 2021, another military vehicle accident at Fort Bragg claimed the life of one soldier and injured four others. Four months earlier, another military vehicle accident claimed the life of another soldier and injured two also at Fort Bragg.
A 60 Minutes report in February revealed that many military vehicle accidents are caused by both poor training and faulty equipment. Missions routinely continue despite malfunctioning equipment in need of repair.