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Army ID's Bragg paratrooper killed in training exercise

Feb. 23, 2014 - 07:11PM   |  
Pfc. James Groth
Pfc. James Groth (Army)
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The Army on Saturday identified the paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division who was killed in a training accident on Fort Bragg, N.C.

Pfc. James Groth, 22, of Ethal, Wash., was a cannon crew member.

Groth died from injuries sustained during an artillery live-fire training exercise on Friday. Seven other paratroopers, all of them from the 18th Fires Brigade, were injured. Two of the injured remained in serious but stable condition Saturday; five others were treated for minor injuries and released from Womack Army Medical Center on Friday.

The incident happened early Friday morning as soldiers from the brigade’s 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment were training with a M777, 155mm towed howitzer, according to information released by the 82nd Airborne.

The eight soldiers were immediately taken to Womack, where Groth was pronounced dead.

Sgt. Cory Muzzy, 25, of Pecos, N.M., a cannon crew member, is in critical but stable condition at Duke University Medical Center. Muzzy was transported to Duke from Womack on Friday.

Spc. Scott Yeates, 30, of Sanford, Fla., also a cannon crew member, is in serious but stable condition at Womack.

Two on-site medics are credited with providing “crucial” life-saving care to the paratroopers immediately after the incident, according to the statement.

Groth joined the Army in 2012. He is survived by his wife, Jordan Nicole Groth, and his parents, Wayne and Billie Groth.

“Losing a trooper is heartbreaking,” Lt. Col. Joseph O’Callaghan, commander of 3rd Battalion, said in a statement. “Pfc. Groth will be missed by his friends and fellow soldiers in the battalion. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Groth family and those that were injured during these difficult times.”

Funeral and memorial service information for Groth was still pending.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation by teams from the 82nd Airborne Division, Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Army Readiness/Safety Center.

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