2 of 9 soldiers killed in flood at Fort Hood were from Tri-State area

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, June 5, 2016

KILLEEN, Texas (WABC) -- The nine soldiers killed when floodwaters swept their Army truck at Fort Hood included two from the Tri-State area.

Late Saturday night, Fort Hood officials released the names of eight of the nine soldiers who died. Among them were Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, of Brooklyn and Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, 21, of Jersey City.

Only the wheels of an Army transport truck were visible after swift floodwaters washed the 2-ton vehicle from a low-water crossing on Thursday, killing the nine soldiers, Coryell County emergency medical services chief Jeff Mincy told the Killeen Daily Herald.

Mincy said he arrived at the scene about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, and that firefighters had already pulled the three surviving soldiers from the rushing waters of usually dry Owl Creek.

The other victims were identified as Spc. Christine Faith Armstrong, 27, of Twentynine Palms, California; Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, of Milton, Florida; Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, of Palmetto, Florida; Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, 19, of San Angelo, Texas; Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, of Dunn, North Carolina; Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, of Valparaiso, Indiana; and Spc. Yingming Sun of California, whose name was released Sunday.

Army officials kept up their investigation of the training exercise that turned deadly.

"I can't estimate how fast it was flowing, but it was faster than I would have felt comfortable putting anything into the water," Mincy said. "When we did find the vehicle, we could see the tires sticking up out of the water, so in that position where the vehicle settled, it had to have been about 8 feet deep."

The bodies of five soldiers from the Central Texas post were recovered Thursday and four were found Friday, while the three surviving soldiers were discharged Friday from Fort Hood's hospital and returned to duty.

Officials with the post say the name of the ninth soldier who died won't be released until family can be notified.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)