by Hope Hodge Seck, Military.com
The soldier who died at the site of an Army UH-60 Black Hawk crash in Leonardtown, Maryland Monday was a 22-year-old crew chief, officials announced Tuesday evening.
Spc. Jeremy Darrell Tomlin, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was pronounced dead on-site at the Breton Bay Golf Course and Country Club by a civilian first responder from St. Mary’s County, officials with the Army’s Military District of Washington said in a news release.
The two other crew members — the pilot and a company commander — remain at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, both in critical condition, officials said. The pilot was identified as Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Nicholas and the crew member as Capt. Terikazu Onoda, commander of 12th Aviation Battalion’s Charlie Company.
The Black Hawk, assigned to the unit and based out of Fort Belvoir in Maryland was one of three conducting a routine training mission Monday afternoon. It’s not yet clear what caused one of the Black Hawks to descend with enough force to crumple the aircraft. The two other helos were not involved in the incident, officials said, and the crew members within were uninjured.
Witnesses who spoke to local news outlets described watching the aircraft, used by the Army for troop and equipment transport, descend in circles before crashing into the golf course. The site, including scattered pieces of the aircraft, has now been fully secured, officials said.
The 12th Aviation Battalion, to which all three crew members were assigned, provides transportation and aviation support to various military and government agencies in the Washington, D.C. region.
The tragic incident is now under investigation by a team from the Army Combat Readiness Center out of Fort Rucker in Alabama, which arrived at the crash site just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Army is now asking any individuals who captured photos or videos of the crash or its aftermath to upload them to a secure site, linked here, to assist with the investigation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers, their families and friends,” said Col. Amanda Azubuike, director of public affairs, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, in a statement. “Our top priority is the health of our soldiers and ensuring that their family members are provided the support they need.”
She said the families of the soldiers involved in the crash had asked for privacy as the investigation continues.
This is the second major Black Hawk incident this year. On Jan. 31, four soldiers were injured, three critically, when a Black Hawk crashed and then caught fire during a training operation at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.