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Motorcyclist killed in Ewa Beach was decorated Army sergeant

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:53 p.m. HST, Jan 6, 2012

The city Medical Examiner's Office today identified the 27-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier who died in a motorcycle accident Thursday as Aaron Bennett.

Bennett, from Parma Heights Ohio, died at the crash scene on Fort Weaver Road near the recently closed Hawaii Medical Center-West. Witnesses told police that he was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic before losing control and crashing at about 5:30 a.m.

Bennett was an Army sergeant who joined the service in January 2007, and served as an infantrymen assigned to 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, according to the Army.

In June, he finished a year-long deployment to Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, where he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, an Army Commendation Medal and the Iraqi Campaign Medal with two campaign stars for his service. 

Bennett's additional awards include the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Expert Infantryman Badge. A memorial ceremony for Bennett is scheduled for later this month at Schofield Barracks. 

He is survived by his wife Michelle, his parents David and Sally Bennett in Ohio, and his sister Rachel Bennett. 

The Medical Examiner's Office said Bennett died of multiple blunt force injuries from a motor vehicle collision. The manner of death was ruled an accident.

The 2009 Yamaha motorcycle he was driving apparently sideswiped a 2001 Nissan sedan near the Farrington Highway junction, causing the motorcyclist to lose control, police said.

Bennett, a 25th Infantry Division soldier, was thrown from the vehicle and slid about 30 feet into a guardrail, severing his arm. 

The crash closed the northbound lanes of Fort Weaver Road, the main artery from Ewa Beach for nearly three hours during Thursday's morning rush-hour commute.

The fatality was the first traffic death of 2012 on Oahu, compared with three at this time last year.

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