BLENDZ NOTE: Base is site of past nuclear security problems
Hill AFB commander killed in car accident in Georgia
By MITCH SHAW
Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau
HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- A commander at Hill Air Force Base was killed early Sunday morning in Georgia after his cab was struck by a car driving down the wrong side of a large freeway.
According to the Georgia State patrol, Col. Stephen E. Mittuch was killed when a woman in a white 1996 Ford Taurus, driving north in a southbound lane of Interstate 75, collided head-on with the cab Mittuch was a passenger in.
The driver of the Taurus, Trica Truatt, 29, of Acworth, GA survived, as did the driver of the cab.
Mittuch was commander of the 419th Maintenance Group at Hill. He had been in Georgia for a seminar near Dobbins Air Force Base and was heading to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to return to Utah when he was killed.
Georgia State Trooper Lt. Paul Cosper said Truatt and the driver of the cab, Okafor Chukwuekwu, 37, were taken to a nearby hospital.
Cosper said chemical tests are pending.
"I can't say yet whether it is or it isn't," he said of drugs or alcohol being involved. "But we are going to investigate everything."
Cosper said from what officers can tell, Truatt may have been driving on the interstate for as much as a mile before hitting Mittuch's cab.
"It's four or five lanes wide," Cosper said of I-75. "It's a very, very busy interstate."