A Florida-based sailor died March 4 from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident late last month.
Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Dakota “Kody” Kinkton, 24, was riding a motorcycle south on US-17 in Jacksonville around 11:15 p.m. on Feb. 25 when a northbound Jeep Compass turned left and crossed into this lane, according to a Florida Highway Patrol accident report.
Kinkton struck the right side of the Compass. The Jeep’s driver, Daniel L. Crawford, 31, had a green light but not a green arrow, Crawford and witnesses told investigators.
Kinkton succumbed to “serious bodily injuries” at Orange Park Medical Center a week later, according to the report.
Crawford was given a breathalyzer and the report states his blood alcohol content was .117 percent, above the legal limit of .08. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and careless driving.
Those charges are being updated to reflect the crash’s fatality, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Master Sgt. Dylan Bryan told Navy Times.
Kinkton was never suspected of alcohol use, was going the speed limit of 45 mph and was wearing a helmet and eye protection at the time, according to the accident report.
Assigned to the Red Lancers of Jacksonville-based Patrol Squadron 10, Kinkton leaves behind a wife and two young children.
Kinkton was a “country boy” who loved his family, motorcycles, shooting guns, bonfires, his chickens and his dog, his mother said.
“He will be missed more than words could ever say,” she said in a message to Navy Times. “His death has forever changed all of our lives and it is his wife and my mission to keep his memory alive.”
Kinkton is at least the 12th sailor to die in a motorcycle accident since Oct. 1, according to the Naval Safety Center.
In 2016, the Naval Safety Center’s magazine “Approach” bestowed on Kinkton a “Mech Bravo Zulu” for his outstanding efforts to prevent aviation mishaps.
While inspecting his work spaces, Kinkton found an accessory bag that contained a damaged bolt from a P8-A Poseidon engine. The bolt had sheered off during maintenance and was replaced, but Kinkton spotted a washer on the part and went back to verify if the engine should be in “up status,” according to his BZ entry.
As he suspected, the new bolt was missing its washer.
Because even the slightest uneven distribution of weight can trigger an imbalance, producing engine vibrations of unknown intensity, he immediately alerted his chain of command and maintenance control, helping to avert an accident, the Naval Safety Center wrote.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.