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Airman killed in Keesler Air Force Base accident identified

The Airman killed in an accident Wednesday at Keesler Air Force Base has now been identified as Daniel J. Germenis. 

Germenis was assigned to the 336th Training Squadron as a technical student studying cyber systems operations.

“The Airmen of the 336th Training Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base are devastated by this tragedy,” said Lt. Col. Ken Hirose, 336th TRS commander. “Daniel was a model Airman who was well-known throughout the organization for his enthusiasm and joyous spirit. He was a wingman to all of us and our thoughts are with his family.”

The FBI announced Thursday that 24-year-old Emmett J. Bennett has been charged with ‘involuntary manslaughter’ and ‘operation of a vehicle while impaired causing death’ following the accident that killed Germenis and left three others injured.

According to the criminal complaint, Bennett was driving south of Ploesti Drive on Keesler Air Force Base shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Bennett was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed and narrowly avoided an accident with another vehicle. After avoiding the accident, Bennett allegedly crossed the northbound lane of Ploesti Drive and struck a light pole. The vehicle then struck four Airmen while they were walking on a walking track, killing one and injuring the others.

Prior to the accident, witnesses reported Bennett acting in an erratic manner.

According to a news release, two of the Airmen injured in accident were treated at the on-base medical center and the third was treated at a medical facility in New Orleans. All three are currently in stable condition.

“This is a tragic accident and loss for the 81st Training Wing and our community,” said Col. Bill Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our Airmen and we are thinking of and praying for all those involved.”

The investigation into the accident is ongoing. 

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