TACOMA, Wash. (WEHT) – The Tacoma News Tribune reports that Evansville native and Army Sgt. Drew Watters died after being pinned underneath a Stryker, an armored vehicle, during a break between missions.
Records from an Army investigation were released to The News Tribune as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
Sgt. Watters was killed during a training exercise at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington on November 4, 2018.
The 23-year-old Watters was a North High School graduate and a new father.
He was survived by his wife and son.
According to the News Tribune, soldiers finished a foot patrol at 6:30 a.m.
The soldiers were reportedly in an assembly area with limited visibility due to darkness, cloud cover, and light rain. Soldiers were dismounting and Watters was on the ground changing his socks, eating, and preparing for the next mission.
At this time, a Stryker backed up without the use of mandatory ground guides or using the rear-facing camera, according to the investigator of the incident.
Due to the noise of other Strykers idling nearby, the News Tribune reports that the investigation concluded that Watters probably didn’t hear the vehicle getting closer when he was pinned underneath the vehicle.
The New Tribune reports that even though the incident was reported within a few minutes, emergency services did not arrive until approximately 45 to 60 minutes after the report.
(This story was originally published on October 10, 2019)