A sailor based in Florida died late last month after his car went off the road in Alabama, struck a tree and ignited.

Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Boaz Dotch, 33, was driving a Chrysler 300 in Mobile around 3:44 a.m. on Oct. 27 when his car left a curve in the road, according to the Mobile Police Department.

Police arriving on the scene found the car on fire. Dotch was taken to a hospital in critical condition, where he later died from his injuries.

Dotch was assigned to Naval Station Mayport’s Southeast Regional Maintenance Center.

Originally from Alabama, Dotch enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 26, 2011.

He had served on board the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima between 2012 and 2017 before reporting to Southeast Regional Maintenance Center on June 16, 2017, according to a Navy biography.

“MM1 Dotch was a strong leader and a valued member of our command and we are mourning his loss,” said maintenance center spokesman Scott Curtis in an email to Navy Times.

Dotch’s former wife, Aur’Lainey Dright, said he had returned to Mobile to attend a funeral and awakened early to get food.

He was family-oriented, fun-loving and devoted to his three-year-old son, Johziah Dotch, she added.

The petty officer loved photography and always brought his camera to family gatherings, she said.

“He loved taking pictures,” Dright told Navy Times. “His thing was memories, preserving memories.”

Courtney Mabeus is a senior writer at Navy Times. Mabeus previously covered the military for The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier.

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