The High Number of Fatal Training Accidents Has Soldiers’ Families Demanding Changes
Fatal training accidents – especially vehicle rollover accidents – have become such an issue that families are now pushing lawmakers to do something about it. Specifically, the families of a number of those who have served and died in these accidents are still unclear about what robbed them of their loved ones in these training facilities.
The Pattern Indicates That Something Is Wrong and This Is Not Simply Operator Error
Questions remain as to whether there are serious problems with these vehicles and/or whether soldiers simply have not been trained to operate them properly. In a number of cases, it appears that soldiers, marines, and others were in light armored vehicles when they simply rolled over on rough terrain. Still, according to their families, the statistics associated with these deaths prove that they are a pattern and not simply due to the negligence of one or two drivers: At one location alone, there were eight rollovers; just in the last five years. Not only did a number of people die, but many have also suffered from serious injuries in these accidents as well.
It also isn’t just the Marines–The Army has also seen its share of incidents: just in the fiscal year 2018 to 2019, there were eight deaths from rollovers, and between 2015 and 2018, there were 14 rollover fatalities. In fact, according to some sources, army motor vehicle mishaps are the number one killer of army soldiers: In 2017, there were four times as many deaths among service members in training than in combat, and this year alone, 10 Marines have died; just in training. In 2018, the Air Force as well experienced 20 non-combat training deaths. According to the report released by Congressional Research Services, almost 32 percent of active-duty deaths in the Armed Forces between 2006 and 2018 were training deaths; compared to 16 percent that occurred in combat.
In fact, it has become such an issue that a number of senators sent letters to the Secretary of the Navy asking that this be researched and evaluated in terms of whether any preventative measures should be taken during training. According to one of the senators, there are concerns that the military is specifically “assuming unnecessary risk that has resulted in an alarming increase in training-related deaths.”
Thus far, military experts have tried to explain the mishaps by saying that they are due to delayed maintenance on older equipment and an increase in the deployment schedule. Still, an investigation needs to be done into not only whether there is something wrong with these vehicles such that they are prone to rolling over and injuring and killing people, but whether the proper skills have been provided to soldiers such that they can safely operate the vehicles.
Contact Our Texas Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Texas rollover accident, contact our experienced Houston wrongful death attorneys at The West Law Office today to find out how we can help.