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Navy chief dies in accident while on leave

A California-based Navy chief died late last month in a car crash, officials have confirmed.

Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate David J. Cahill, 34, was driving a Ford pickup truck eastbound on Thorn Road a few miles west of Jasper, Missouri, at about 11:20 p.m. on July 23 when he failed to negotiate a curve, left the roadway and struck a tree, according to the Navy and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The Jasper County coroner pronounced Cahill deceased about two hours later, according to the highway patrol.

A 37-year-old male occupant of the truck sustained injuries as well.

Cahill was on leave at the time, according to the Navy.

He hailed from nearby Greenfield, Missouri, and is survived by a wife and four daughters, according to his obituary.

Cahill’s family could not be reached for comment.

The chief had been assigned to the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit at Naval Air Station North Island, California, since January 2019, according to his service record.

“We are saddened by the death of Chief Cahill,” Cmdr. James Stockman, a spokesman for Naval Education and Training Command, said in a statement. “The Navy and Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training take the death of our Sailors seriously, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of our fallen shipmate.”

Cahill enlisted in 2005 and was promoted to chief last summer, according to Navy records.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to the highway patrol.

At the time of his death, Cahill was at least the 23rd sailor to die in a private motor vehicle accident this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, according to Navy records.

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