A 19-year-old Air Force ROTC cadet at Oregon State University was killed June 24 in an accident involving a Humvee during a training exercise in Idaho, the Mountain Home (Idaho) Air Force Base reported.
Mackenzie Wilson, who was originally from Eagle River, Alaska, was among 19 cadets training on Saylor Creek Range on the base when the accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. Two cadets were treated at a Boise hospital and later released.
Wilson was part of the Oregon State Air Force ROTC color guard that participated in the Philomath ceremony on May 14 at Mount Union Cemetery in recognition of Armed Forces Day and Peace Officers Memorial Day that also serves as a flag-placement event preceding Memorial Day.
“She both retired our old flag damaged by Oregon wind and rain and helped raise a new one to replace it,” said Eric Niemann, who organizes the annual event at the cemetery. “Her precise movements and attention to detail really impressed us and clearly reflected her deep love of country.”
Air Force ROTC cadre and cadets immediately responded to the accident and initiated life-saving actions on Wilson until first responders arrived, the base’s press release said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We mourn with her colleagues in the Oregon State Air Force Detachment 685,” Niemann said. “We are grateful for her service to the Philomath community. Our thoughts and prayers are with her surviving friends and family in Eagle River, Alaska, during this difficult time.”
Idaho State Police is leading an investigation of the accident with assistance from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Cadets were offered support services and given the option to return home.