A U.S. sailor who died Tuesday in a military convoy accident near California’s Camp Pendleton has been identified as Equipment Operator 3rd Class Aaron Michael Fish.

The 26-year-old Seabee was with other members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 in a “line-haul” convoy comprised of a MK-28 cargo truck and four MK-31 tractor trailers as it made its way to Pendleton to pick up equipment for a training exercise, officials said.

“For reasons that are still under investigation, the convoy began to slow, causing a chain reaction collision,” CHP said in a statement this week. “One of the truck trailers was pushed forward into a cab, causing fatal injuries to the driver.”

Fish’s vehicle was between two others involved in the collision, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office.

He was pronounced dead at the scene on March 2.

Five other sailors were injured in the accident but have since been released from the hospital, according to Lt. Cmdr. Amber Lewis, a spokeswoman for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

A New York native, Fish enlisted in 2018, and the construction battalion was his first assignment out of training, according to his service record.

He deployed to Guam and helped build a medical facility that helped treat COVID-19 patients aboard Naval Base Guam, earning himself a meritorious advancement to petty officer 3rd class in the process.

“Aaron is a cherished member of our team who loved his work, helping others and making people smile,” his commanding officer, Cmdr. Ryan Carey, said in a statement. “NMCB-5 is so grateful for our time with Aaron. We miss him deeply.”

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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