Conn. National Guard soldier killed in crash in NY - My9 New Jersey

Conn. National Guard soldier killed in crash in NY

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MYFOXNY.COM -

An on-duty Connecticut National Guard soldier was killed in a crash in New York on Thursday, officials said.

A car collided with a light medium tactical vehicle on Interstate 95 in Rye, N.Y., at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 7, 2014, New York State Police said.

The driver of the military truck, Sgt. 1st Class Kayla A. Downey, 31, of Shelton, Conn., lost control, police said. The truck rolled over onto the shoulder of the highway, ejecting Staff Sgt. Ronald R. Patterson Jr., 43, of Bridgeport, Conn., police said. He died at the scene.

Downey was seriously hurt and is hospitalized, police said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Staff Sgt. Patterson and with Sgt. 1st Class Downey and her family," Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, the commander of the Connecticut National Guard, said in a statement. "The full resources of the Connecticut National Guard will be available to the families and fellow Soldiers of Patterson and Downey who have been affected by this tragedy."

The driver of the car, Odson Meritle, 40, of Stamford, Conn., suffered some injuries that are not life-threatening, police said.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered state and U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff in Patterson's honor.

"The men and women of the National Guard provide an invaluable service to our state and our country -- they are extraordinary ambassadors for Connecticut and the United States," Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a joint statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all of those involved in today's accident. We join the Connecticut National Guard in mourning the loss of one of our brave soldiers, and our prayers for a quick and full recovery go out to the soldier who was injured."

Patterson and Downey, Iraq War veterans and members of A Company, 192nd Engineer Battalion based out of Stratford, Conn. , were transporting training material to Fort Dix in New Jersey, the Connecticut National Guard said.

The State Police and the military are investigating the crash. Police have not filed any charges at this time.

 

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