A gate at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State is closed for repairs after a driver ran into it and his vehicle burst into flames, base officials say.
The incident took place around 7:30 p.m. July 18, Jeannie Dimico, a base spokeswoman, told Air Force Times in an email.
The driver, who is not affiliated with JBLM, “ran his vehicle into the closed gate of the Woodbrook Housing gate on JBLM McChord Field,” said Dimico. “The vehicle caught fire and the fire was extinguished by the JBLM Fire Department. The driver was arrested by JBLM law enforcement; no other details are available. The gate will be closed this week for repairs.”
The Staff Judge Advocate has not released the driver’s name, Dimico said, adding that the driver was “impaired.”
“This is an unusual occurrence that rarely happens but is always the result of an impaired driver,” she said.
Base officials would not release the make, model or year of the vehicle.
McChord Field is home to a wide variety of units and missions, according to the host unit’s website.
The 62nd Airlift Wing is the active-duty unit on McChord Field and along with its Reserve partner, the 446th Airlift Wing, flies 50 C-17 Globemaster IIIs.
JBLM is also home to the Army I Corps headquarters, the 7th Infantry Division, 1st Special Forces Group and the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. The Western Air Defense Sector, the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron and the 361st Recruiting Squadron are among a number of other units stationed at the installation
The incident was first reported on the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.