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2 JBLM soldiers identified as men killed in wrong-way, DUI crash in Pierce County

In World
June 04, 2024

Two men who were killed from a wrong-way DUI crash on Sunday have been identified as U.S. Army soldiers.

A 23-year-old Tacoma woman was driving east in the westbound lanes of state Route 512 when her vehicle crashed into another car at about 2 a.m. There was a 19-month baby girl in the car with her, according to a Washington State Patrol news release.

The second vehicle was driven by Charles T Fairbairn, 29 of Georgia. Fairbairn and a passenger, Wendell T Cerio, 22 of Arizona, died at the scene. A 22-year-old man was also in Fairbairn’s vehicle and survived his injuries.

All three men were soldiers stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, according to a military spokesperson.

“We are saddened to learn that two 7th Infantry Division soldiers passed following an off-post vehicle accident the morning of June 2, 2024. One additional 7th Infantry Division soldier was admitted to the hospital where they have since been released. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these soldiers during this difficult time. This incident remains under investigation,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The woman was taken to Tacoma General Hospital for her injuries, and the baby was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Both are expected to survive, a previous News Tribune story reported.

Investigators believe the woman had been driving under the influence, and she is under investigation for two counts of vehicular homicide.

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