Elyria sailor, 6 others killed in USS Fitzgerald crash

The USS Fitzgerald after the collision
The USS Fitzgerald after the collision

ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) - A collision off the coast of Japan between the United States Navy's USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine container ship resulted in the death of seven Navy sailors, including Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm, Jr. of Elyria.

The ships collided on Saturday while approximately 300 sailors were asleep aboard the destroyer. Some sailors initially believed that they were under attack aboard the USS Fitzgerald and began to man their gunning stations, according to a sailor's mother.

Gary Rehm, Jr. was one of the victims that did not survive the collision. The 37-year-old sailor was a graduate from Oberlin High School in 1998. According to his Facebook page, Rehm was currently living in Virginia was in charge of operating and maintaining weapons direction systems. According to Rehm's cousin, he was planning to retire from the Navy in three months.

President Trump and several Ohio politicians took to social media to pay respects to sailors.

Several bodies were found inside the ship's flooded compartments. The other victims include:

  • Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Va.
  • Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, Calif.
  • Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Conn.
  • Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Md.

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley said they will investigate how the US Navy ship and a huge cargo ship that is four times the size of the destroyer collided. Navy officials have not indicated when the bodies of Rehm and the other victims will return back to the country.

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