Metro-East News

Second soldier identified in car crash that killed Belleville-based unit members in Kuwait

Soldiers killed in Kuwait are honored at Camp Arifjan

The Camp Arifjan military community gathered with the Soldiers of the 657th Transportation Detachment out of Belleville, 420th Movement Control Battalion, to honor Sgt. Holli R. Bolinski and Spc. Jackson D. Johnson.
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The Camp Arifjan military community gathered with the Soldiers of the 657th Transportation Detachment out of Belleville, 420th Movement Control Battalion, to honor Sgt. Holli R. Bolinski and Spc. Jackson D. Johnson.

The second person attached to a Belleville-based Army Reserve Unit who was killed in Kuwait was identified Thursday as Spc. Jackson D. Johnson, 20, of Hillsboro, Missouri.

On Wednesday, the Army Reserve identified the other victim as Sgt. Holli R. Bolinski, 37, of Pinckneyville.

They will killed in a traffic accident while on duty. Both were attached to the 657th Transportation Detachment in Belleville.

The two were driving an SUV, a non-tactical vehicle (NTV), during a routine, authorized mission along a well-traveled road in the desert near Camp Buhering in North Kuwait on Tuesday morning, Public Affairs Officer Maj. Andy Thaggard said.

Thaggard said there was then a collision involving a water truck at a T-intersection on the road. According to Bolinski’s husband, Robert, the tractor-trailer ran a stop sign and broadsided the SUV carrying the soldiers, which resulted in their deaths.

There is an ongoing investigation into the accident, Thaggard said.

Bolinski had served in the military for 11 years, her husband told the BND. Four years were in active duty, including missions in Iraq, and seven in the Reserves. She won 10 awards from the Army during her life, including an Army Good Conduct Medal and numerous commendation and achievement medals.

The U.S. Army Reserve Center is at 500 S. Belt East in Belleville. The 657th Transportation Detachment is based there.

Johnson had been in the Army since February 2016 and had been in Kuwait since October. He too had won awards from the Army, including a National Defense Service Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost released a statement Thursday honoring Sgt. Bolinski, who was from his district.

“This is truly gut-wrenching news,” he said. “I can’t fathom the emotions of Sgt. Bolinski’s family right now. Sgt. Bolinski’s service to our nation will not be forgotten. Please pray for the Bolinski family during this time.”

Hana Muslic has been covering breaking news and crime for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.


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