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Army Identifies Nine Soldiers Who Died in Fort Hood Vehicle Accident

This file photo shows a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle from the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. (Army photo by Sgt. Angel Turner)
This file photo shows a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle from the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. (Army photo by Sgt. Angel Turner)

Updated 9:18 P.M. ET

The U.S. Army has identified the soldiers who died when the medium-duty truck they were riding in overturned in a rain-swollen creek at Fort Hood.

The service over the weekend released the names of the nine soldiers who were killed when their 2.5-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle overturned during a June 2 training accident at the sprawling Texas outpost. All but one were members of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

The service members were Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, Spc. Christine Faith Armstrong, Spc. Yingming Sun, Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, and Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of nine brave soldiers in this training accident," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a statement. "This tragedy has touched the 1st Cavalry Division, the Fort Hood community, and the entire Department of Defense. It painfully demonstrates, along with the loss of a Blue Angels ‎pilot this week, the risks our men and women in uniform take on behalf of the American people everyday.

"I am immensely grateful for the efforts of the military and civilian personnel who responded to the Fort Hood incident, and for the safe recovery of three soldiers," Carter added. "We will learn from this incident and do what we can to prevent something like this from happening again.

"To the families, friends and team mates of those lost, an entire nation extends its thoughts and prayers," he said. "Though no words can compensate‎ for such a painful and sudden loss, please know that our hearts are joined with yours in grief."

The 12 soldiers participating in the convoy training exercise near Owl Creek were on a dirt road parallel to a paved road that the base had closed because of the risk of flooding when a rush of water overturned their vehicle, the Associated Press reported.

Two bodies were found in the vehicle and three others were found downstream from it hours later, the news organization reported. The last four missing soldiers were found dead downstream Friday, it reported.

The Army said the circumstances of the accident are unknown. Its lead agency on safety and occupational health -- the Army Combat Readiness Center -- has dispatched a team to the installation to investigate the circumstances of the deaths and possibly how to handle similar risky training conditions in the future, according to AP.

But that investigation may take several months. Four soldiers at Fort Hood last November were killed in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash during a routine training exercise -- an incident the agency is still investigating, according to AP.

The Army released the following biographical details about the deceased soldiers.

Colonvazquez, 38, of Brooklyn, New York, entered service in July 2003 as a motor transport operator. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and another two tours in Afghanistan. He received multiple awards and decorations, including five Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, three Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal and others.

Armstrong, 27, of Twentynine Palms, California, joined the Army in February 2014 as a motor transport operator. She received a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

Sun, 25, of Monterey Park, California, entered service in October 2013 as a motor transport operator. Sun received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon.

Banner, 22, of Milton, Florida, entered service in March 2014 as a motor transport operator. He received a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Sharpshooter with Carbine.

Fuller, 23, of Palmetto, Florida, joined the Army in November 2015 as a motor transport operator. He received National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

Deleon, 19, of San Angelo, Texas, entered service in November 2015 as a motor transport operator. He received a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Gates, 20, of Dunn, North Carolina, joined the Army in December 2015 as a motor transport operator. She was homecoming queen during her senior year at Triton High School in North Carolina and often returned to help the junior ROTC team drill, according to WRAL News. Her awards and decorations include a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

James, 21, of Jersey City, New Jersey, entered service in November 2015 as a motor transport operator. Her awards and decorations include a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

Winey, 21, of Valparaiso, Indiana, was a cadet at the United States Military Academy. He reported to West Point on July 2, 2014, and was a member of the Class of 2018, assigned to Company B, First Regiment. He was a graduate of Chesterton High School in Chesterton, Indiana.

Editor's note: This story was updated to include the name of the ninth soldier.

--Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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