An American soldier was killed in a non-combat rollover accident in Kuwait, U.S. officials said late Friday.
Spc. Jayson Reed Haven, 20, of Aiken, South Carolina, died from a rollover accident that occurred in a non-combat situation on Thursday at Camp Buehring in the northwestern desert of Kuwait, about 20 miles from the southern border of Iraq.
The fatal incident remains under investigation, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Defense. Further details were not immediately available.
The news of Haven's death came just days before Memorial Day, a federal holiday for honoring and mourning those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
"There are no words that can adequately express how deeply saddened I am at the loss of one of our own," Maj. Gen. Van McCarty told Haven's hometown newspaper, the Aiken Standard. "SPC Jayson R. Haven was more than just a member of the South Carolina National Guard; he was family."
Haven, a machine gunner, had received multiple medals and awards during his service with the South Carolina National Guard. He was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, based in Charleston. He initially joined the U.S. Army in 2020, according to the Aiken Standard.
Haven was deployed to Kuwait to support Operation Spartan Shield, an effort to strengthen U.S. defensive relationships throughout Southwest Asia, according to the Army.
Vehicle accidents involving rollovers are a leading cause of death for the U.S. military.
While rollovers only account for a quarter of vehicle accidents, they contribute to 63% of accidents involving a death between 2010 and 2019, according to a 2021 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
That same report found that the military did not take sufficient action during that time frame to reduce the often preventable accidents, which accounted for 123 deaths for the Army and Marines between 2010 and 2019.