Military

JBER soldier died when mobile kitchen tipped on top of her, U.S. Army reports

The U.S. Army has released more information about the Jan. 24 accident that led to the death of 20-year-old Spc. Karolina Ferrer-Padilla on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Ferrer-Padilla was killed when a piece of equipment landed on top of her, according to a Preliminary Loss Report released by the Army this month.

According to the report, Ferrer-Padilla had been removing a jack stand during a tire change of a containerized kitchen. The mobile kitchen tipped over roughly 90 degrees and landed on top of her.

“Due to reduced traction from an icy surface, the soldier was unable to get clear of the equipment,” the report said.

Ferrer-Padilla was killed instantly, according to the report.

“It was really a tragic accident,” said John Pennell, chief of media relations for U.S. Army Alaska.

“We’re doing everything that we can to support the soldier’s family and her coworkers, her fellow soldiers who were there when she was killed,” Pennell said. “The loss of a soldier is traumatic no matter the cause.”

Ferrer-Padilla, of Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, was a petroleum supply specialist with the 6th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. Ferrer-Padilla joined the Army in September 2019 and trained in South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, officials said following the accident, and reported to Alaska in August 2020.

“Spc. Ferrer-Padilla was a dedicated professional, loving wife, and faithful friend,” Lt. Col. Justin Pritchard, 6th BEB commander said in a statement following her death in January. “An aspiring leader, she brought joy and inspiration to all her fellow paratroopers.”

Morgan Krakow

Morgan Krakow is a general assignment reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She is a 2019 graduate of the University of Oregon and spent the summer of 2019 as a reporting intern on the general assignment desk of The Washington Post. Contact her at mkrakow@adn.com.

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