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Board releases report on fatal motor vehicle accident

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO – Air Force Materiel Command released findings of the Ground Accident Investigation Board which examined a vehicle accident that claimed the life of a deployed AFMC security forces member in Kuwait on Sept. 12, 2020.
 
Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, 26, died during the rollover mishap of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). He was a security forces member forward deployed from the 66th Security Forces Squadron at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. Two other Security Forces Airmen in the vehicle were injured.
 
The incident took place when three Airmen defenders from the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron were approaching the end of a 12-hour patrol in a defensive zone outside the fenced perimeter of Ali Al Salem Air Base, the primary airlift hub and gateway for delivering combat power to joint and coalition forces in the U.S. Central Command Area of responsibility.
 
The three Airmen were traveling aboard the M-ATV on a hard-packed sand and rock road when the driver felt the vehicle pull to the right, as the right wheels appeared to be getting stuck in the sand. While compensating, the driver lost control and the vehicle rolled over coming to rest on its side.
 
Phan was ejected from his rear left seat behind the driver and sustained immediate fatal injuries. The M-ATV driver and the truck commander were treated for non-life threatening injuries at the Camp Arifjan Army regional medical facility and released.
 
The investigation revealed none of the Airmen were wearing helmets or seatbelts and the combat locks were not engaged at the time of the crash. The vehicle appeared to be operating normally.
 
“It is a tragedy anytime we lose an Airman, and this accident highlights the dangers our members who serve face daily in the defense of our nation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Senior Airman Phan’s family and friends,” said Maj. Gen. Maureen Banavige, Ground Accident Investigation Board President.
 
The primary purpose of the board was to provide a publicly releasable summary of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. The GAIB report is available online at https://www.afjag.af.mil/AIB-Reports.