Nation & World

Afghanistan crash kills two from Bragg

Two paratroopers based at Fort Bragg were killed Wednesday near Kabul, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said Monday afternoon.

Spc. Agustin Gutierrez, 19, from San Jacinto, Calif., and Sgt. Edmund McDonald, 25, from Casco, Maine, died of injuries sustained when the vehicle they were traveling in overturned. They were vehicle mechanics assigned to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

McDonald joined the Army in September 2002. He completed training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in April 2003.

The deployment this past February was McDonald's third overseas mission. He previously served twice in Iraq.

He is survived by his wife, Melissa Ann McDonald, and mother, Katherine McDonald, both of Casco, Maine.

"Sergeant McDonald was one of my top non-commissioned officers. I could depend on him to get things done," said Capt. James M. McGee, McDonald's company commander. "He is the guy you stop, shake his hand and say, 'Hi.' He will be sorely missed by all the paratroopers he served with."

Gutierrez joined the Army in August 2005. He reported to the 82nd Airborne Division in March 2006.

"Specialist Gutierrez was new to the unit," McGee said. "But what he lacked in experience he certainly made up for in motivation."

Gutierrez is survived by his father, Francisco Gutierrez, and his mother, Elvira Gutierrez, of San Jacinto, Calif.

(News researcher Lamara Williams-Hackett contributed to this report.)

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