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Kansas airman killed, 2 others injured in crash during training

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Posted at 11:55 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 12:51:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas Air National Guard airman was killed in a crash during a training exercise, officials said Wednesday.

Two other airmen were injured in the crash, which happened at the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range, about 10 miles southwest of Salina, on Tuesday.

According to a news release, the airmen were training when their vehicle overturned, injuring all three.

Two of the men were responsive after the crash and taken to a Salina hospital, where they are still being treated.

The third, however, was unresponsive and was being flown to a hospital in Wichita when he died en route.

He has been identified as 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Wesley Kubie of Salina.

The airmen are part of the 184th Wing, 284th Air Support Operations Squadron.

“Today we lost a member of our family under unfortunate circumstances,” said Col. Jason Knobbe, commander of the 184th Wing. “We share in the sorrow felt by his loved ones and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow Guardsmen. We will continue caring for the injured Airmen and provide assistance to their loved ones. Their health, safety and well-being is our top priority.”

Officials said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

“My thoughts are with the Kansas National Guard and 184th Wing after yesterday’s military vehicle accident near Salina," Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday in a statement. "I am hoping the two injured Airmen a speedy recovery, and share my condolences with the family, loved ones, and fellow Guardsmen of the service member who tragically lost his life. His commitment to our state will not be forgotten.”

The two airmen who were injured have been identified as Staff Sgt. Jaden Johnson, 23, of Salina and Staff Sgt. Cole Frederick, 28, of Topeka.