JBER soldier killed in crash on base identified

FastCast digital headlines for Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 10:44 AM AKDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 11:35 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A soldier with the 11th Airborne Division on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was killed late Sunday night when the car they were riding in hit another vehicle on base.

The soldier, who has been identified as 20-year-old Pfc. Arath Esau Martinez-Arguelles was one of five soldiers riding in a car on Arctic Valley Road near Cottonwood Park. Officials say the car collided with another vehicle being driven by a man with his spouse and their child in the vehicle, around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the JBER Public Affairs Office.

JBER officials say two soldiers in the car were ejected, and both of them were taken to the Alaska Native Medical Center, along with the driver of the car. One soldier who was ejected was declared dead at the hospital. The driver and another soldier survived.

Officials said two other soldiers were taken to Providence Hospital, where they were “treated and released with only minor injuries.”

The driver of the other vehicle was taken to Alaska Regional with his family, where they were evaluated and treated. Officials did not specify the severity of their injuries.

According to a press release sent from JBER officials, Martinez-Arguelles was a mechanic with the 6th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He joined the Army in June 2022 and trained in South Carolina and Virginia before reporting to Alaska in March of 2023. Martinez-Arguelles, originally from Sherman Oaks, Calif., was commended by his superiors for his dedication.

“Pfc. Martinez was a self-starter, who was always working as hard as he could and motivating those around him. He was always the first mechanic in his coveralls, ready to fix vehicles and forever had a smile on his face,” Lt. Col. Elizabeth Knox, 6th BEB commander said. “He was a dedicated friend to those around him, as evident by how many friends he made in such a short amount of time in the battalion.

JBER said the crash is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigation Command.