FORT Hood’s death count is up to 11 this year after a 22-year-old soldier was hit by a car and killed while directing traffic near the base.
Specialist Cole Jakob Aton died on August 12, less than two months after the remains of missing 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen were found.
Aton stood in a roadway directing vehicles around a minor traffic accident in Killeen, Texas, when a car traveling on Interstate 14 crested an overpass and struck him, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.
He died from his injuries later that day.
No charges have been filed in Aton’s death, and it is under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Aton, who was from Science Hill, Kentucky, served as a Patriot missile operator with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade for the past two years.
His accolades included the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander, Colonel Ethan Hall, said the whole team is “heartbroken” by Aton’s death.
“Specialist Aton was a professional, committed to the mission,” Hall said in a statement obtained by the Daily Mail.
“His selfless service and care for others are in keeping with the highest traditions of the ‘Lightning Brigade’ and our Army.’”
Besides his service duties, Aton posted petitions on social media pushing for answers on the numerous mysterious vanishments and deaths at Fort Hood.
Fort Hood came under national scrutiny after Guillen, who allegedly experienced sexual harassment at the base, disappeared in April.
Dismembered body parts believed to belong to her were found about 20 miles east of the base on June 30, and confirmed to be hers in early July.
The main suspect in Guillen’s vanishment, Specialist Aaron David Robinson, 20, killed himself on July 1 when investigators caught up to him.
While authorities searched for Guillen’s body, a tip led them to the body of another soldier who went missing last year, Gregory Wedel-Morales.
Aton’s death comes just one week after Sergeant Bradley Moore, 36, a member of the Texas Army National Guard, died doing a training exercise at Fort Hood.
The people who have died at the base this year include Guillen, Robinson, Wedel-Morales, Private Mejhor Morta, Specialist Francisco Gilberto Hernandez-Vargas, Private First Class Brandon Scott Rosecrans, Private First Class Freddy Delacruz Jr, Specialist Christopher Wayne Sawyer and Specialist Shelby Tyler Jones.
In June, Army Secretary Ryan McCarty announced that an independent probe into the violence and deaths would be conducted, and that the results would be released in October.
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