HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Outside of the Connecticut Armory in Hartford on Friday, officials with the National Guard held a press conference to discuss new information regarding Thursday’s accident on Interstate 95 that left one soldier dead and another injured.
“Honestly, the loss of any member is tragic whether it happens here in Connecticut or it happens in a deployed environment,” said Connecticut National Guard Chief of Staff Col. Michael Wieczorek. “The impact to the soldier’s families, loved ones and friends, as well as the extending guard family, just can’t be underestimated.”
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When asked the latest on what has been uncovered so far into a cause, officials with the Guard will only say that the accident is under investigation and that they are still working with local authorities. The guardsman who lost his life is Staff Sgt. Ronald Patterson Jr. of Bridgeport. He was 43 years old, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a member of the 192nd Engineer Battalion based out of Stratford.
Those that knew Patterson say he will be remembered as a family man.”His family are wonderful people. It’s tragic,” said a neighbor.
News 8 has also learned the identity of the National Guard member that was injured in the crash. Her name is Sgt. 1st Class Kayla Anne Downey. Officials with the National Guard tell us she is 31, lives in Shelton, and is recovering in the hospital from her injuries.