American soldier dies in car crash in Germany

 August 3, 2023

A U.S. soldier stationed in Germany died in a crash on the Autobahn this week.

24-year-old 1st Lt. Hailey Hodsden, a platoon leader with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s 4th Squadron, was struck by a semi-truck as she was riding in an armored vehicle.

The Stryker that Hodsden was riding in was attempting to merge onto Autobahn 93 heading north when it was hit.

U.S. soldier killed

Hodsden was looking out from an open hatch when the truck hit Tuesday morning, police said.

"Civilian medical personnel treated and transported the Soldier to a local hospital, where the medical staff pronounced the service member dead," U.S. Army Europe and Africa said in a statement.

The West Point graduate and Dripping Springs, Texas native was described as an "exceptional leader" in a statement from the Army. She was with the 2nd Cavalry for little more than a year.

“Hailey was an exceptional leader,” Lt. Col. Joseph Byerly, 4th Squadron commander, said. “As the Saber family mourns her loss, we are reminded of the courage and commitment that she displayed each day. She was a true example for others to emulate.”

The accident happened less than an hour from the Army's largest training facility in Germany, the center of America's military presence in Europe. This is the third fatal crash involving a U.S. soldier in Bavaria this year, according to Stars and Stripes.   

Army plagued by accidental deaths

Three young Marines died of carbon monoxide poisoning near Camp Lejeune days ago. The victims, Lance Cpl. Tanner Kaltenberg, 19, Lance Cpl. Merax Dockery, 23, and Lance Cpl. Ivan Garcia, 23, were found in a car at a gas station.

"I am saddened by the timeless and tragic death of these three young men, who served our country honorably," Sheriff Alan Cutler said. "Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and colleagues during this time.

The Army grounded all aviation units in April after separate helicopter crashes in Alaska and Kentucky killed a dozen soldiers.

Accidental deaths have become a serious problem in the military, accounting for roughly 32 percent of all active-duty deaths from 2006 to 2021 - more than any other cause of death.

The Army cites improvement last year, when off-duty mishaps - though still the leading cause of death - reached a historic low of 67. Of course, no soldier is a statistic - and every loss is a tragedy.

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