Hunter Soldiers roll vehicle but survive
June 25, 2010
<b> HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. </b> - When two Soldiers from the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion, flipped their car at Hunter Army Airfield on June 17, they were reminded of how easy it is to become a fatality.
The driver rolled the car while negotiating a curve on Perimeter Road, near the west end of the tarmac while he and a friend were at lunch. They were transported to Memorial Hospital as a precautionary measure but only sustained minor injuries.
"They were extremely fortunate," said Lt. Col. Mark Colbrook, commander, 224th Military Intelligence Battalion. "This accident is a learning experience. It provides the opportunity to highlight the day-to-day dangers we face in our vehicles. It reminds us to remain vigilant in our battalion's safety program."
Other tools that promote vehicle safety are also available to Soldiers, according to Lt. Col. Colbrook, such as a remedial drivers training course at Fort Stewart. "Diving safety is highly stressed in the military," he said. "Statistics show that accidents on the road outnumber those on the battlefield."
Other battalion leaders were relieved that the young Soldiers were not among the growing number of vehicular fatalities at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield.
"I'm very happy that both Soldiers walked," said Chief Warrant Officer Adam Duszak, the battalion safety officer. "We take what happened here, we learn from it, and then pass it on to other Soldiers."
Chief Warrant Officer Duszak said the accident is still under investigation, but excessive speed may have been a factor. A cautionary speed of 15 miles per hour is posted at the curve; however, the maximum speed is 30 miles per hour. Other causes of the accident could be revealed from the investigation.
According to Ron Heath, the Hunter Safety Officer, some major causes of rollover crashes include driver distraction, inattentiveness, and impaired driving. Imperative to survival - is to wear a seat belt, he said.
The Soldiers' company commander, Capt. Paul Wallace, B Co., 224th MI, said he has also used the incident to remind his Soldiers to stay safe.
"It's important to remain vigilant and to use the Army's composite risk management tool that teaches us to think about sequences of our actions ahead of time," he said. "The risk management tool provides a valuable thought process. It should be applied to every decision and action our Soldiers take."