Spc. Cole Jakob Aton died Aug. 12 from "injuries suffered while providing assistance at an accident scene on U.S. Highway 190/Interstate 14," according to a Fort Hood news release.
It's unclear from the release whether Aton was involved in the accident. The case is currently under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the release states.
Aton, a 22-year-old native of Science Hill, Kentucky, entered the service in March 2018 as an Army Patriot Launching Station Enhanced Operator-Maintainer and had been assigned to 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, since August 2018, according to the release.
"The command wishes to express its condolences to the families and friends of Specialist Jakob Aton, and all who have been affected by this tragic accident," Col. Ethan Hall, commander of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, said in the release. "Specialist Aton was a professional, committed to the mission. His selfless service and care for others are in keeping with the highest traditions of the 'Lightning Brigade' and our Army. The entire team is heartbroken."
Aton's awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, according to the release.
His death is one of a spate of Fort Hood soldier deaths that has attracted national attention.
In late June, base officials announced that skeletal remains found in Killeen had been positively identified as those of Pvt. Gregory Morales, a Hood soldier who went missing in August.
And on July 6, Army officials confirmed that human remains discovered near Hood had been identified as Spc. Vanessa Guillen's.
Guillen, a 20-year-old 3rd Cavalry Regiment soldier who disappeared April 22, was allegedly murdered by Army Spc. Aaron Robinson, according to a July 2 criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of Texas.
Guillen's case has become a rallying cry for lawmakers and advocates of female veterans, who are now calling for an end to the culture of sexual harassment and assault in the U.S. military.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarty announced in June that he had ordered an independent review of Fort Hood's command climate. The five civilian members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee are expected to provide an interim program report by mid-September and a final report by Oct. 30, according to a recent Army news release.
Some of the deaths appear to be accidental but are still under investigation. On July 17, the body of Pvt. Mejhor Morta was found in the vicinity of Stillhouse Hollow lake, southeast of Fort Hood. Two weeks later, Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas died in a boating accident at the lake.
Morta and Hernandezvargas were both assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.