Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS National Guardsman Killed In Car Crash
Boston MA Herald 26Mar00 D2
By Eric Convey
AYER, MASSACHUSETTS -- U.S. National Guardsman Erich Hans Taeger, 22,
an LDS returned missionary who was preparing for a tour of duty in
Bosnia, was killed Saturday morning in an off-dutycar accident.
Taeger was the passenger in a car driven by Specialist CoreyOrtiz,
26, when the car crossed the road's center-line and struck a tree at
about 2 a.m. There are no indications of alcohol abuse in the
accident and no skid marks. The crash is under investigation.
Taeger was honored as a "bright, shining star in the organization,"
by Massachusetts Army National Guard Major Michael Pacheco. "People
looked to him for enthusiasm and encouragement. He was a young kid
with an incredible amount of potential. It's an absolute tragic loss
that we deploy this unit without him.''
Taeger was a military journalist assigned to the National Guard's
65th Press Camp, based in Lexington, Massachusetts. The unit covers
defense operations, providing information to the press. It is
scheduled to leave April 9th for Bosnia. He was fluent in Portuguese,
German and English and had served an LDS mission, according to
Pacheco, "The kid was just incredible."
Ortiz, 26, who drove the car, is on life support at the University of
Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. He is from Idaho
and is a military broadcast journalist.