JBLM soldiers killed by wrong way drunk driver near Tacoma

Jun 4, 2024, 1:47 PM | Updated: 6:34 pm

Photo: Troopers respond to car crash on I-5 south near the I-705 interchange. Two soldiers statione...

Troopers respond to car crash on I-5 south near the I-705 interchange. Two soldiers stationed at JBLM were killed when their vehicle was hit by an alleged drunken driver. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Two soldiers stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) were killed near Tacoma when their vehicle was hit by an alleged drunk driver going the wrong way on an area highway, according to the Army.

Spc. Charles T. Fairbairn, 29, and Spc. Wendell T. Cerio, 22, died in the crash early Sunday morning, the Washington State Patrol said. A third soldier in the car was taken to a hospital with injuries and has since been released.

Previous coverage: Multiple overnight crashes leave 2 dead, 3 arrested for DUI in Tacoma

JBLM spokesperson Matt Pargett told The Seattle Times in an email that Fairbairn was an infantryman and Cerio was a combat medic.

“We are saddened to learn that two 7th Infantry Division soldiers passed following an off-post vehicle accident,” Pargett wrote in a statement.

He said the crash remains under investigation.

Fairbairn was driving west on Highway 12 near the military base south of Tacoma in a Chrysler 300 when a wrong-way driver in a Ford Edge SUV struck the sedan. The 23-year-old SUV driver and a 19-year-old passenger were taken to a hospital with injuries. A baby in the car was not injured.

The SUV driver was arrested on two counts of DUI vehicular homicide, Washington State Patrol Trooper John Dattilo posted on the social media platform X.


moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

5 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

7 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

8 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

8 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

9 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

10 days ago

JBLM soldiers killed by wrong way drunk driver near Tacoma