Army blames staff sergeant for fatal Fort Hood truck accident

Rescue crews in Texas are searching for four soldiers swept away by deadly flooding at Fort...
Rescue crews in Texas are searching for four soldiers swept away by deadly flooding at Fort Hood (Credit: CBS This Morning/MGN)(KKTV)
Published: May. 19, 2017 at 10:25 AM CDT
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An Army investigation into a June 2016 truck accident at Fort Hood that left nine soldiers dead shows the staff sergeant who was in charge of the convoy was at fault.

On June 2, 2016, the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle overturned at a low water crossing on East Range Road at Fort Hood.

Twelve soldiers were in the truck.

Other soldiers rescued three of them, but the other nine died including a West Point cadet who was accompanying soldiers on the mission.

Investigators, according to the Department of Defense report, determined the accident resulted from three concentric decisions made by Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, who was among those who died when the truck overturned into Owl Creek during a flash flood event.

The accident report said Colonvazquez, 38, was a combat veteran who was well experienced in the operation of several types of Army vehicles.

The investigation report was released to the media by the father of one of the soldiers who died in the wreck.

Ricky DeLeon, the father of Pvt. Isaac Lee DeLeon, released a copy of the report to the Dallas Morning News that outlined the issues that resulted in the wreck.

The first of three key decisions Colonvazquez made was to take the convoy off the paved road and onto a caliche tank trail.

Then, even after having to cross two large puddles, the commander chose to stay on the trails instead of returning to the paved surface, the report says.

And third, Colonvazquez decided to try to cross Owl Creek, which was swollen to capacity because of the heavy rains, instead of using a nearby bridge that spanned the creek, the report says.

“The use of the bridge would have prevented the accident,” the report said.

The report squarely placed most of the blame on Colonvasquez, but then went on to say that three leaders associated with the unit receive General Office Memorandum of Reprimand for negligence of duties.

Those leaders were redacted from the report.

But DeLeon said all leadership at Fort Hood bears responsibility for his son’s death.