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JBLM combat engineer killed in I-5 crash

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In an unimaginable tragedy for Soldiers returning from war, one of their own was injured and later died, on their home turf just miles from their Army post.

Pvt. Reymon Tolentino, 28, died Thursday on Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, specifically, exit 123 near Lakewood, Wash., when the van he was riding in lost control and hit a concrete barrier and a light pole.

The van had been at SEATAC airport to pick up Soldiers of the 14th Engineer Battalion returning from their deployment in Afghanistan.

According to a public affairs official at JBLM, Tolentino was not one of the returning warriors but a segment of the rear-detachment that had not deployed.

Tolentino of Niles, Ill. entered active-duty service in January 2013. He was assigned to the engineer battalion’s 22nd Engineer Clearance Company.

A total of five Soldiers were injured in the incident that closed I-5 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Sgt. 1st Class Che Pickens, also injured in the wreck, is still hospitalized and listed in “serious but stable condition.”

The National Military Examiner publishes military and military-related content from around the world that often misses mainstream media, including all troop losses.

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