Army officials are investigating the death of a soldier over the weekend during a field training exercise near Fort Wainwright.
A U.S. Army Alaska news release issued this morning says 25-year-old Spc. Marquise Elliott died Saturday of injuries he sustained when he lost control of a Humvee he was driving in the Yukon Training Area east of Fairbanks.
USARAK spokesman John Pennell says the heavily armored Humvee was part of a convoy moving through the range at about 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon during the Red Flag training exercises that began last week.
“The convoy that they were traveling in was halted, while they getting Marquise transported back to Fairbanks Memorial,” he said.
Pennell says Elliott was treated by medics at the site before being transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead. He says a soldier riding along in the Humvee was treated for minor injuries and released at the site.
“That particular area and the vehicle will be investigated as part of the safety investigation by the Army Combat Readiness Center,” Pennell said.
Pennell says the soldiers were assigned to the Second Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. He says the unit has completed its part of the training exercise and will return to JBER.
“We’re just kind of in a state of shock right now, and looking to do everything we can for the soldiers families and friends, so that they can move on – get through this,” Pennell said.
Elliott is the second Alaska-based soldier killed this year during training exercises held in the Interior. The first was 20-year-old Specialist Nicholas DiMona, who died March 30th of a gunshot wound he sustained during a live-fire exercise in the Donnelly Training Area south of Fort Greely. DiMona was assigned to the Fort Wainwright-based 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Pennell says an Army investigation into that incident is continuing. He could not say when that investigation will wrap up.