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Two American GI’s die, one injured in car crash

Date Posted: 2007-05-18

A Friday night outing turned deadly for three US Army sergeants early Saturday morning when their car went out of control in Chatan Town, killing two of them.

Hirokazu Okuhama, a police officer, says the men were traveling on Route 130 in Chatan Town’s Omura Area when the driver lost control and crashed into a signpost.

Sergeants Richard Thomas Smith, 27, and Kenneth J. Thomas, 25, both died in the accident. They were both pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The 39-year-old driver, Byron Anthony West, suffered minor injuries. Okuhama says authorities suspect West was under the influence of alcohol. A U.S. Military Police investigation reportedly showed the driver to be drunk, and noted there were no braking or skid marks prior to the vehicle’s striking the signpost.

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