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PLR 23-083 - GMV Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

A 24-year-old First Lieutenant assigned to Vilseck, Germany, died in an on-duty government motor vehicle (GMV) mishap 1 August 2023 in Weiden, Germany, at 1125 local. A military convoy was merging onto the autobahn when a civilian semi-truck struck a Stryker. The collision resulted in the commander’s vehicle hatch releasing and impacting the Soldier, causing her to lose consciousness. Emergency medical services and polizei responded and pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene. The Soldier was wearing personal protective equipment and a gunner’s restraint harness. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for the polizei to release its final report.

Since 2018, the Army has lost an average of nine Soldiers a year to on-duty GMV mishaps. This mishap was the fourth on-duty GMV fatality of FY23 and the same number of fatalities for the same period last year.

Safety tips

Convoy commanders must identify hazards along the convoy route.

Ensure to conduct a pre-convoy safety briefing covering hazards, location of road hazards, driving conditions and control measures.

If feasible, schedule convoys around peak travel and congestion periods.

Ensure the vehicle commanders have been briefed on established communication.

If available, plan for military police or host nation assistance to regulate traffic.

Ensure that vehicle commanders are trained to observe hazards and communicate them throughout the convoy.

Upon reaching the acceleration lane, increase convoy speed to equal as closely as possible the speed of other traffic on the roadway.

When moving into the traffic lane and before merging, the driver should ensure that lanes are clear of oncoming traffic.

Position your vehicle toward the nearside of the road before merging onto an entrance ramp.

Signal your intentions when planning to merge or change lanes.

Wait to accelerate onto the traffic lane if you see vehicles approaching quickly.

Check again and ensure there is nothing preventing a safe maneuver onto the traffic lane.

Never force your way into the traffic; stop and wait if necessary.

Take extra caution when merging near large vehicles; they may accidentally cross over in your lane due to their large width.

Keeping your vehicle close to the nearside (pavement /sidewalk) edge of the road on single carriageways can help you to avoid sideswiping collisions — especially on corners.

Pay attention to the position of your vehicle and ensure you never cross over the central white line unless absolutely essential.

Ensure mirrors and windows are clean and adjusted before and during travel.

Safety tips for vehicle hatch operation

When the hatch is opened, the downward force may trap hands between the hatch and the opening.

Hatches are under spring tension. Ensure to keep the body clear of the hatch when opening. Failure to do so may result in injury to personnel.

Engage the safety catch after opening the hatch to ensure it stays in a secured position.



  • 7 August 2023
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 112
  • Comments: 0