JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – The Army has identified the 11th Airborne Division soldier who was killed in a two-vehicle accident on JBER Sunday, May 28. Pfc. Arath Esau Martinez-Arguelles, 20, of Sherman Oaks, California, a passenger, died from injuries he sustained when he was ejected from the vehicle during the collision. First responders transported Martinez-Arguelles to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Martinez-Arguelles, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic with the 6th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) joined the Army in June 2022. He trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and at Fort Lee, Virginia, before reporting to Alaska in March 2023.
“Pfc. Martinez was a self-starter, who was always working as hard as he could and motivating those around him. He was always the first mechanic in his coveralls, ready to fix vehicles and forever had a smile on his face,” said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Knox, 6th BEB commander. “He was a dedicated friend to those around him, as evident by how many friends he made in such a short amount of time in the battalion.
“Arath was modeling everything that the Army expected of him, and we are immeasurably proud of his service to our nation and the unit. He was a motivated paratrooper who inspired the paratroopers around him.”
The accident happened at about 11:30 p.m. when a vehicle carrying five soldiers collided with a second vehicle while traveling on Arctic Valley Road near Cottonwood Park. Two occupants of the first car were ejected in the collision. Another soldier was in the second vehicle with his spouse and child.
First responders transported three injured soldiers, including the driver of the first vehicle and the two who were ejected in the collision, to the Alaska Native Medical Center, where one of the ejected was declared dead.
Two soldiers were transported to Providence Hospital where they were treated and released with only minor injuries.
The driver of the second vehicle and his family were transported to Alaska Regional for evaluation and treatment.
The incident is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. Further information will be released when it becomes available.