The U.S. Army has identified the two soldiers killed in a major multi-vehicle crash in Anchorage, Alaska on Friday as 22-year-old Spec. Wyne Lyndon Jacob Abonita and 23-year-old Pvt. Valsin David Tate Jr., 23.
An Army spokesperson identified the two deceased soldiers in an emailed statement to American Military News on Tuesday.
Abonita and Tate were both fire control specialists assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment (PFAR), based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Abonita was from Yokosuka, Japan. The U.S. Navy has a base in Yokosuka. Abonita joined the Army in March 2019 and trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Fort Benning, Georgia. He arrived in Alaska in September 2019. Abonita’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.
Tate was from New Orleans, Louisiana. He joined the Army in October 2018 and trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Fort Benning, Georgia. He arrived in Alaska in April 2019. Tate’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.
“This was a tragic situation, and the entire battalion is mourning the loss of two of our paratroopers. As we mourn, it is important that we allow the ongoing investigation to go unhindered,” said Lt. Col. Dustin Blair, 2-377th PFAR commander. “PFAR will continue to support our paratroopers through the employment of our Unit Ministry Team, Military Family Life Counselor, and other Behavioral Health assets.”
The local news station, KTUU, previously reported the crash took place on Glenn Highway at around 5:52 p.m. on Friday. Officials from the Anchorage Police Department told KTUU that drivers of a Dodge Challenger and Mitsubishi Galant both lost control of their vehicles while they traveled south on the Glenn Highway. The Dodge reportedly left the road and hit a tree, while the Mitsubishi hit a Toyota Tundra that was also traveling south. The collision between the Mistubishi and Toyota caused the two vehicles to cross over the median into northbound traffic. The Mistubishi then hit a Chevrolet Silverado, causing both vehicles to catch fire. Police told KTUU that both occupants of the Mitsubishi were declared dead on the scene.
Two more U.S. Army soldiers and two other people were hospitalized after the multi-vehicle accident, which shut down traffic in both directions for several hours. In a previous Saturday statement, the Alaska Army officials said one of the two soldiers injured in the crash had been released while the other remained hospitalized.