Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

About Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

Preliminary Loss Reports provide leaders with awareness of Army loss and highlight potential trends that affect combat readiness. Within 72 hours of a loss, PLRs provide a synopsis of the incident: unit, date of loss, description of the activity at the time of the death. PLRs do not identify root causes of an accident, as the investigation is ongoing. Further details will be available later on RMIS (account required).

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PLR 21-079 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A First Lieutenant assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington, died in a sports, recreation and physical training mishap 21 July 2021 at 1353 local. After the Soldier failed to report for duty on 19 July, his unit tried numerous times to contact him by phone, but were unsuccessful. He mentioned to several individuals the day before that he planned to go running. His supervisor and commander notified the JBLM military police, Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and director of emergency services that he was absent, and the unit began searching for him. The Soldier’s house was checked, as well as local running routes he frequented in the JBLM and Tacoma areas. CID was able to obtain the last ping from the Soldier’s cellphone. On 20 July, several groups from the unit found his vehicle at a trailhead on the north side of Mount St. Helens, and immediately called 911. The following day, hikers in the Mount Whittier area located his body. It is suspected that the Soldier fell approximately 250 feet. His body was transported to the local county coroner’s office for examination.

Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the sixth fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY21.



PLR 21-078 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
An active duty for special work Corporal assigned to the Army National Guard, Fullerton, California, died in a PMV-2 mishap 16 July 2021 in Redlands, California, at 0033 local. The Soldier was speeding through a curve when he lost control and struck a pole. It is unknown who notified emergency service personnel. The Soldier’s completion of mandatory Motorcycle Safety Foundation training and use of personal protective equipment have not been verified. Alcohol as a contributing factor to the mishap is also unknown at this time. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for the local sheriff’s department to release its report.

Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 27 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 17th off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY21.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

What can riders do to share the road more safely?

In most cases you will meet turns and curves on the road, so you need to learn how to ride your motorcycle through a curve.

•There are things you need to remember. First, with increased motorcycle speed, it will be harder for you to change directions. When you ride a bicycle, you just turn the handlebar toward the direction you want to go. It becomes the opposite when you are riding a motorcycle. Second, turning a motorcycle is done by counter-steering, meaning you need to shift the handlebars in the opposite direction of where you actually want to go. If you are going right, you have to push forward slightly against the handlebar grip on the right. This will actually turn the handlebar to the left. As the handlebar turns to the left, the motorcycle will lean to the right, which is direction you wanted to travel.

•As you approach a curve, slow down to a good entry speed that will allow you to roll on the throttle as you prepare to navigate the curve, and speed up later. You can gently use the rear brake for this. Position your motorbike outside for the turn, which means if you are turning left, your bike should be about three feet from the right side of the lane. When you want to turn right, the motorcycle should be about three feet from the centerline of the road.

•Look at where you are headed as this is where you want your motorcycle to go. If possible, identify the exit point of the curve to where the road gets straight again. You are not yet negotiating the curve at this point. You are still preparing to enter the curve.

•Remember the counter-steering technique. This is where you apply it – at the start of your entry into the curve. Keep your throttle open and roll to the curve, initially keeping a good distance away from the inside of the curve. As the angle of the curve tightens, you should be leaning closer to the curve. Point your eyes in the direction you want to the motorcycle to go. At the same time, you should be aware of incoming traffic from the opposite direction.
When you can see the exit point of the curve, position your bike to aim for a much more straighter line instead of following the angle of the curve all the way through, as you might end up bumping the rock face, a road barrier or the ditch. The weave pattern is more like outside, inside and then outside again. Do not use your brakes as you negotiate the curve, as your motorcycle will bobble and you will lose traction. You turn the throttle on here without pulling on the clutch to keep you motorcycle stable.

•Accelerate after you have negotiated the tightest angle of the curve and you can already see where the road becomes straight again. You should be moving away from the inside of the curve and more toward the inner lane as you accelerate. Acceleration will push your motorcycle up straight again as you prepare to ride on a straight lane.

•Your body should lean slightly with the bike as you negotiate the curve. Your first instinct would be to keep your body on a straight line when making a turn, but you need to practice until you gain confidence, as you have to be one with your bike when riding a motorcycle. Learn to lean with it, whether it is making a right or a left turn, and you will soon have a far more enjoyable ride. Keep on practicing until you have mastered the art of riding through a curve.



PLR 21-077 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
An Active Guard Reserve Sergeant assigned to the Army National Guard, Nashville, Tennessee, died in a PMV-2 mishap 18 July 2021 in Johnson City, Tennessee, at 0251 local. The Soldier was operating his motorcycle when he lost control, left the roadway and impacted a ditch. Another Soldier following behind him in a private motor vehicle stated the Soldier was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the mishap. Alcohol reportedly was not a contributing factor. The Soldier’s completion of mandatory Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s training and personal protective equipment use have not been verified. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for local law enforcement to release their report.

Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 27 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 16th off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY21.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

What can riders do to share the road more safely? Check out these motorcycle riding safety tips:

1. Wear a helmet!
A helmet is essential for safe riding. Helmets are your best defense against a serious brain injury should you get in a motorcycle accident. Not all states require riders wear a helmet, but you should. Make sure it fits securely and is up to the highest safety standards.

2. Get comfortable with your motorcycle.
Each motorcycle is unique, so if you’ve upgraded or gotten a new one, you should take some time to try it out and get familiar with its quirks in a controlled environment. Spend some time getting to know how your motorcycle handles turns, your weight, and familiarize yourself with where all its bells and whistles are located so you won’t be fishing around during a ride!

3. Check your bike before every ride.
A quick check to ensure everything is in working order will save you from starting a doomed trip. Check your tires (their pressure and depth), turn signals, and hand and foot brakes, as well as and your fluid levels, before departing from home. After that, a quick look to ensure nothing is leaking and you’ll be ready to ride.

4. Ride defensively.
Do not assume you can be seen by drivers on the road. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and can easily slip into a driver’s blind spot. Keep your lights on while riding and try to wear bright or reflective clothing.
When riding, do so defensively. This means giving yourself plenty of room to make turns and change lanes, driving within the speed limit and assuming drivers won’t be able to see what you’re doing. Recklessly cutting in front of cars could land you in the hospital … or worse.

5. Obey the rules of the road.
The best way to stay safe is to ride as safely as possible! Follow all lane markings, posted signs and speed limits. Yield to those who have the right of way and avoid speeding and cutting off others. You never know when road conditions could change.

6. Be aware of the weather.
Changes in weather can be dangerous for motorcycles, as slippery roads can cause you to lose control. Be aware of conditions for the day before you set out, and have a plan for what to do if the weather worsens.

7. Don’t drink and ride.
Motorcyclists are more likely to die in a drunk driving crash than drivers. Don’t become a sad statistic; be sure to avoid driving under any kind of influence, when drowsy and while distracted.



PLR 21-076 - PMV-4 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-4
A Private assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, died in a PMV-4 mishap 5 July 2021 in Hamilton County, Tennessee. At approximately 0800, the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to a single-vehicle accident on I-75. Emergency medical service personnel arrived and pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene at 0810. The Soldier was positively identified by his military ID and driver’s license. He was transported to the local county medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Initial reports state the cause of the mishap was a tire from another vehicle breaking free and striking the Soldier’s vehicle. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for local law enforcement to release their report.

Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 33 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 32nd PMV-4 fatality of FY21.

Six Common Obstacles on the Roadway and Tips to Avoid Them:

1. A Deer in the Headlights:
The number of drivers involved in accidents caused by deer on the roadways is growing every single year. As we humans spread into previously uninhabited forests, wildlife such as deer are bound to be found meandering down roads. Surprisingly, many accidents involving deer take place in suburban areas and small towns. Don’t think that you are safe from the deer dilemma just because you live miles from anything rural. Watch out for deer on a blind curve. The danger of colliding with a deer is heightened in the early hours of morning and the hours surrounding sunset, these times being most popular for deer to be mobile. If you see a deer on the road ahead, slow down as much as possible. If you are already very close to the animal when you notice it, do not slam on your brakes. This may cause your vehicle to skid or the car behind you to rear-end your vehicle. Instead, firmly grip the steering wheel and brace yourself for the impact. If you hit the animal, pull over as soon as you can to check for any damage to your car and recover from the collision. If the animal is still alive, you may need to call local law enforcement for assistance.

2. UFOs on the Roads:
Unidentified flying objects are common occurrences on roadways, particularly highways and interstates where vehicles travel at high speeds. Imagine you are enjoying your pleasant commute when something unexpectedly flies toward your windshield. Whether it is a bag of garbage, piece of lumber, 12-foot ladder, fast food bag, or large bird, these random objects are cause for panic in many drivers. When you are driving at high speeds, even something as harmless as an empty grocery bag can startle you as it flies toward your windshield. Do you best to remain calm if you suddenly see something coming toward your vehicle. If you identify the object as dangerous, such as a large limb or piece of metal, quickly evaluate the traffic around you, then make an attempt to avoid the object if it is safe to do so. If a large object is lying on the road, try to steer your vehicle so that your wheels straddle it as you pass. If something hits your car and you suspect damage has occurred, pull over as soon as possible and call local law enforcement to file an accident report.

3. SMVs:
Slow-moving vehicles are an official category of vehicles that can be found on many types of roadways. An SMV is any type of vehicle that is not able to travel over a particular speed. In most states, this speed is 30 mph. You never know what type of SMV you can bump into. While these vehicles are not allowed on interstate highways, they are legally allowed to travel on all other roadways, so it is likely that you will encounter an SMV from time to time. Some examples of SMVs include: horse-drawn carriages in cities, tractors or farm equipment, vehicles used for road construction and maintenance, golf carts or small electronic passenger vehicles, mowers and wagons used as transportation by some cultural groups. All SMVs are required to display a bright-orange reflective triangle outlined in dark red to warn drivers that they travel at slow speeds. If you encounter an SMV, make sure to maintain a safe distance, especially if the vehicle is being powered by livestock. Most SMVs will allow traffic to pass them from time to time.

4. Speed Bumps:
Although it is widely accepted by automobile safety experts that speed bumps save lives by warning drivers to slow down, many consider them to be a nuisance. If you see a speed bump ahead, slow your vehicle considerably before you reach it to prevent being jostled and your car from sustaining damage.

5. Pedestrians:
People are the most important obstacle to avoid. Make sure that you watch out for pedestrians at all times, not only when you are driving over a marked crosswalk. Always yield right of way to pedestrians. Wait until they have completely cleared the road before continuing.

6. Pets:
Especially in suburban areas or on neighborhood streets, dogs and cats can be common obstacles. While you should never put yourself in danger of having a wreck to avoid hitting someone’s pet, there are several measures that drivers can take to avoid hitting beloved dogs and cats. First, slow down in these areas. Where there are freely roaming pets, there are often people. Drivers should watch out for both. Also, periodically scan either side of neighborhood streets for approaching animals. If you do make contact with a pet, it is common courtesy to assist the animal and make every effort to contact its owner.

Remember that you are never driving your vehicle in a bubble. There are all kinds of obstacles that can appear in your path and you must be prepared to navigate them. Obeying the posted speed limit and staying alert while driving will go a long way in preventing your vehicle from making contact with any of these common obstacles.

(Source: https://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-avoid-obstacles-on-the-roadway/)



PLR 21-075 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation

A Private First Class assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, died in a sports, recreation and physical training mishap 10 July 2021 at 1720 local. The Soldier was at a lake with a group of people, when he began swimming approximately 100-150 meters from shore to retrieve a floatation toy. He was seen flailing his arms before he submerged beneath the surface. Another Soldier dove in to save him but was unable to locate the body. The water in that area contained a large amount of aquatic hydrilla grass, which significantly decreased visibility and formed a swimming hazard. Emergency service personnel were dispatched to the scene at 1730 and began a thorough search, using boats, sonar and divers. The search was halted at 2130 hours due to darkness and complications from the dense vegetation. The search resumed the following morning at 0800. The Soldier’s body was not located until 12 July at 1120. Initial reports indicate the Soldier was not under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance at the time of the drowning.

Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the fifth fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY21.

Before entering or being around the water, keep these things in mind because they could save your life or the life of someone you care about.

Expect the unexpected – Accidents can happen within seconds, so always be prepared for the unexpected. If you jump into water that is colder than 70 degrees, you can inhale water from involuntary gasping, hyperventilation, panic and sometimes vertigo that can cause you to drown.

Know your swimming abilities – Be aware that swimming in natural waters such as a lake, river or pond is different from swimming in a pool, and your swimming ability decreases with age. It is never too late to take swimming lessons and learn to swim well. Several people every year drown while swimming to retrieve boats and toys. Let those go because they are not worth losing your life over.

Choose swimming areas carefully – Murky lake and river water can hide sharp or slippery rocks, uneven or unstable logs, and “strainers” or underwater branches and root systems that can easily catch your feet. These are constantly changing in unpredictable ways.

Alcohol and water are a deadly combination – Alcohol induces an inner ear condition (caloric labyrinthitis) that can cause you to become disoriented when underwater and not realize which way is up. If you jump or fall in the water, you can become disoriented and swim down instead of up to safety, causing you to drown. This can more likely happen if you have been consuming alcohol.