NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) ─ A U.S. Army soldier from New Bedford was killed during a training exercise on American soil.
Private First Class Justin Candido Kirby, 21, died following a vehicle accident at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California on Monday.
Another soldier was also hurt in the crash and has been released from the hospital.
Kirby was the son of Robert Kirby, a veteran New Bedford firefighter and the brother of Jason Kirby, who works for New Bedford EMS.
The fire department posted on Facebook Wednesday saying, “We extend our appreciation to the Kirby family for their service and dedication to our community and our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with FF Bob Kirby and his family during this difficult time.”
Mayor Jon Mitchell also sent condolences to the family.
“Justin’s service to our Nation reflected his deep commitment to a cause larger than himself and the values of his family of public servants,” Mitchell said in a statement. “It is my hope that the gratitude and reverence of our City for Justin’s dedication and patriotism may bring some measure of comfort to Justin’s family as they mourn his sudden loss.”
Mitchell ordered all flags at city buildings to be flown at half staff in Kirby’s honor.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.