US base pledge after double fatal crash

US military chiefs have pledged to look at tougher training for American motorists serving in Suffolk after two young airmen were killed in an horrific head-on crash.

Dave Gooderham

US military chiefs have pledged to look at tougher training for American motorists serving in Suffolk after two young airmen were killed in an horrific head-on crash.

Staff Sgt Mark Stephany, 24, and Senior Airman Daniel Addabbo, 23, died in Saturday night's accident on the A1101 in Icklingham, near Bury St Edmunds.

Six other people were injured in the two-vehicle collision with one of the passengers in the second car remaining in a critical condition in hospital.


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Military bosses at RAF Lakenheath - where the two men were part of the 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron - paid tribute to the airmen while also promising to scrutinise its driver training for all personnel.

Although unable to comment on the cause of the accident, Col Jay Silveria, 48th Fighter Wing commander, said: “This has been a total shock for everyone on the base and grief counselling has been offered.

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“Once the base has emotionally recovered from the events of this accident, we will use the loss of these two young men as an example of everyone else. Once the cause of the accident have been established, we will continue to treat driver training with the utmost importance.

“These were two young men just starting their careers in the Air Force which makes this loss even more acute. Their roles in aircraft maintenance made them crucial to our mission.”

The accident involved a green BMW and a blue Nissan Primera with both airmen pronounced dead at the scene.

A female passenger in the blue Nissan suffered life-threatening head injuries while the driver of the Nissan had multiple injuries and is said to be in a critical but stable condition. Both are being treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

A passenger in the back of the Nissan is also in a critical but stable condition with multiple injuries and was under observation at West Suffolk Hospital. A two-year-old boy who was in the back of the Nissan suffered minor injuries.

Senior Airman Joseph Mann and Airman First Class Joseph Ross were also injured in the accident. Both were admitted to West Suffolk Hospital following the accident but were released yesterday.

Col Silveria said they had little recollection of the crash and added: “Our deepest sympathies also go out to the families of the British nationals involved in the accident. We are hoping and praying that they quickly recover in hospital.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Base chiefs are planning a memorial ceremony later this week.

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