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Another Fort Hood soldier dies: missile operator hit by car


Another solider from the embattled Texas Army base Fort Hood has died while assisting in a car accident, officials say.

Spc. Cole Jakob Aton, 22, of Science Hill, Kentucky was standing in the roadway trying to direct traffic around a minor traffic accident in Killeen near the base when he was hit by a car on Wednesday August 12. 

The car that hit him crested an overpass on Interstate 14 and the driver didn’t see him in time.

He was injured at the scene and later died from the injuries he sustained.

It’s unclear if he was involved in the accident itself. The case is under investigation by thte Texas Department of Public Safety.

Spc. Cole Jakob Aton, 22, of Kentucky died on August 12 as he was assisting at the scene of a car accident near the Fort Hood Army base in Killeen, Texas

Aton was a Patriot missile operator with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade since August 2018.

Timeline of Fort Hood disappearances/deaths

August 19, 2019:  Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, 24, disappeared. He was last seen driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood days before he was due to be discharged. 

He was listed as a deserter by the Army one month after he was last seen.

April 22, 2020: Vanessa Guillen goes missing and is last seen in the parking lot of the base. 

She disappeared after telling her family she was being sexually harassed by a sergeant on the base.

May 18, 2020: Body of Army Pfc. Brandon S. Rosecrans, 27, was discovered with gunshot wounds and his Jeep was found three miles away engulfed in flames.

June 19, 2020: Search teams discover the corpse of missing soldier Wedel-Morales following a tip to Army base investigators. 

Remains were found in a field in Killeen, just over 10 miles from Stillhouse Hollow Lake, five miles from Fort Hood.

June 30, 2020: First parts of Giullen’s remains found about 20 miles east of Fort Hood

July 17, 2020:  Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, of Pensacola, Florida was found unresponsive July 17 in the vicinity of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, around 15 miles from the Fort Hood base.

August 2, 2020:  The body of Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, is recovered from Stillhouse Hollow Lake following boating incident not far from where Morta was found.

August 12, 2020: Spc. Cole Jakob Aton, 22, of Kentucky died after he was hit by a car as he was assisting a minor accident scene 

August 13, 2020: National Guard soldier, Sgt Bradley Moore dies during a training exercise at the base

No charges were filed in his death.

Col. Ethan Hall, the commander of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, offered his condolences to Aton’s family.

‘Specialist Aton was a professional, committed to the mission. His selfless service and care for others are in keeping with the highest traditions of the “Lightning Brigade” and our Army,’ he said in a statement.

‘The entire team is heartbroken,’ he added.

Aton’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

He’s the 11th soldier death at the base this year alone.

On social media Aton shared petitions and posts demanding answers into the mysterious deaths and disappearances at the base.  

The base was thrust into the national spotlight with the disappearance of 20-year-old soldier Guillen who vanished after reporting she was being sexually harassed at the base. 

She was killed and dismembered by a fellow soldier and her remains were found late June.

Of the 11 deaths, foul play is suspected in five of those.

Those victims are: Spc. Vanessa Guillen, her alleged killer Spc.Aaron David Robinson, 20, Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, Pvt. Mejhor Morta, Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, Spc. Freddy Delacruz Jr, Spc. Christopher Wayne Sawyer, and Spc. Shelby Tyler Jones. 

Last week Sgt. Bradley Moore, 36, of Mansfield, Texas, with the Texas Army National Guard died at the base during a training exercise. 

Guillen, 20, vanished from the base on April 22. The first parts of Giullen’s remains found about 20 miles east of Fort Hood on June 30. 

Spc. Aaron David Robinson, 20, was the main suspect in Guillen’s disappearance and murder. 

He killed himself when confronted by investigators in the early hours of July 1.

Guillen’s remains were found days after a tip led authorities to the body of missing soldier Gregory Wedel-Morales, who disappeared last year, nearby. 

Aton was a Patriot missile operator with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade since August 2018

On social media Aton shared petitions and posts demanding answers into the mysterious deaths and disappearances at the base

Aton shared this petition last month demanding answers and justice for the disappearance and death of Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales, who disappeared last year and his remains were found this summer

In June Army Secretary Ryan McCarty announced announced an independent investigation will take place into the base.

Five civilian experts have already been sworn in for the investigation to assess command culture to ‘root out’ why there’s been such high cases of violence, deaths, and disappearances. 

Those review results will be released in October.    

All soldiers were stationed at the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas

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