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06-2022

US Army identifies two soldiers killed in Alaska car crash

The US Army identified two young soldiers killed in a horrific four-vehicle crash in Anchorage, Alaska last week.

Spc. Wyne Lyndon Jacob Abonita, 22, of Yokosuka, Japan, and Pvt. Valsin David Tate Jr., 23, of New Orleans, are the two paratroopers who died in the collision on May 13, the US Army said.

Both men were members of the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, and came to Alaska from their respective bases in 2019.

“This was a tragic situation, and the entire battalion is mourning the loss of two of our paratroopers,” Regiment commander, Lt. Col. Dustin Blair said in a statement.

Both men were valued members of the US Army and received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Parachutist Badge.

Spc.  Wyne Lyndon Jacob Abonita was stationed with Valsin David Tate Jr.  at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Spc. Wyne Lyndon Jacob Abonita was stationed with Valsin David Tate Jr. at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
US Army

Spc. Wyne Lyndon Jacob Abonita was also awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal, Stars and Stripes reported.

They were both stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

Four others were injured in the crash, Anchorage police said in a statement. The two paratroopers were pronounced dead at the scene moments after the crash, while two injured soldiers were hastened to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

One of the soldiers was released from the hospital on Saturday. No arrests have been made, police said.

Pvt.  Valsin David Tate Jr.  was of the 2nd Battalion and came to Alaska from their respective bases in 2019.
Pvt. Valsin David Tate Jr. was of the 2nd Battalion and came to Alaska from their respective bases in 2019.
US Army

Abonita and Tate were traveling on the highway when their car and a nearby vehicle lost control and veered onto oncoming traffic, cops said. One of the vehicles then crashed into a tree, injuring two additional soldiers.

US Army officials and Anchorage police did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

The incident comes after a US soldier was tragically killed by a bear in the same state earlier this month.

Army Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant, 30, was identified as the soldier who died from injuries sustained during a bear attack on May 10 in a remote training area at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson.

Last month, a 21-year-old paratrooper from New York State died while jumping from a helicopter during a training exercise.

Spc. Abigail Jenks, of Gansevoort, was doing a static-line jump from a UH-60 Blackhawk chopper at Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Monday, when she was fatally injured, military officials said,

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