Fort Jackson, SC – Two basic training Soldiers died and seven more were injured, two of them critically, when a 1 ton Dodge duty truck crashed into a group of trainees at a Fort Jackson range Friday evening.
According to several eye witnesses interviewed by USAWTFM, the 1-ton truck was towing a 400-gallon water tank, commonly referred to as a ‘water buffalo’, while trailing a formation of Soldiers that had just finished training.
The driver, an unidentified Drill Sergeant, first swerved into the right side of the road hitting a guard rail, and then turned left hitting several Soldiers. “We heard a loud noise and as we turned back to see what it was we saw the truck coming straight to us, some of us managed to jump out the way” a soldier said.
One deceased Soldier was pinned under the wheel of the water buffalo.
The six injured Soldiers were immediately transferred to a hospital and received treatment, with two of them going into emergency surgery. A seventh injured trainee was later discovered to have suffered a leg injury and was also transferred to the same hospital to receive treatment.
The Facebook page of the 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, has been taken off-line following the accident, but a cached version shows an October 1st message informing the families of the trainees that they had entered “White Phase”, referring to the phase where recruits go through marksmanship and combat training and learn to rappel at the Warrior Tower.
Earlier this morning Army officials identified the Soldiers who were involved in the accident.
Pvt. Ethan Shrader, from Prospect, TN
Pvt. Timothy Ashcraft, from Cincinnati, OH
Pvt. Emmett Foreman, from Daleville, AL
Pvt. Hannah New, Cartersville, GA
Pvt. Benjamin Key, Livingston, TN
Pvt. Alan Kryszak, Clarksville, TN
Pvt. Cardre Jackson Jr., Laurel, MD
Pvt. James Foster, Macon, GA
The cause of the crash remains unclear, but it brings further scrutiny to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) that is charged with overseeing training of Army forces and the development of operational doctrine across its 37 schools, including Fort Jackson.
“We are continuing to support everyone affected by this tragic event,” said U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Commander Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson. “I am very appreciative for all the exceptional support from the Columbia medical community. I appreciate the outpouring of support. Please keep the family members, injured soldiers and our fellow teammates affected by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers.”
The incident remains under investigation.