New details released in a preliminary accident report reveal how a young National Guard soldier died in an Oct. 22 accident at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.
According to the report from the Army Combat Readiness Center, which investigates most of the service’s fatal accidents, two M1120 flat rack trucks were traveling down a tank trail in a remote corner of the installation when the accident occurred.
The soldiers were collecting spent ammunition casings from a live fire range held earlier that day.
Spc. Mackenzie Shay, 20, was driving the second truck when it rear-ended the first. Shay’s side of the second truck’s passenger cab was “crushed” when it struck the first truck’s flat rack, the report said.
She didn’t have a pulse when her fellow soldiers pulled her from the vehicle and began CPR, and responding emergency services personnel pronounced her dead at the scene.
Shay was assigned to Company G, 128th Brigade Support Battalion, which is a forward support company in the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division.
She was a student at Slippery Rock University, according to an online obituary, and she joined the Guard as a fueler when she was 17.
The other three troops involved in the accident — Shay’s passenger and the two soldiers in the first truck — were treated and released at a local hospital.
Pennsylvania Guard officials had previously declined to share more information about the accident — including the vehicles involved — due to the ongoing investigation.
But the state’s top general previously said in a statement that the organization’s thoughts and prayers were with her loved ones and colleagues.
“Our priority right now is taking care of the family and soldiers, ensuring they have all the resources they need during this critical time,” Army Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler said.
Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army. He focuses on investigations, personnel concerns and military justice. Davis, also a Guard veteran, was a finalist in the 2023 Livingston Awards for his work with The Texas Tribune investigating the National Guard's border missions. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill.