U.S. Army Ranger, Penn State grad killed in tactical vehicle accident

1st Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, 25, was killed in the accident Sept. 7. (U.S. Army)

FORT BENNING, Ga. - A U.S. Army Ranger and Penn State graduate was killed in a single tactical vehicle accident in Fort Benning, Georgia.

1st Lt. Connor Bednarzyk, 25, was killed in the accident Sept. 7.

Bednarzyk was assigned as the platoon leader of the Distribution Platoon, Echo Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, according to a U.S. Army news release.

"First Lieutenant Connor Bednarzyk was an amazing Ranger, leader, and friend," said Lt. Col. Michael Klopper, Commander 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

"He was known throughout the Battalion for his caring and positive attitude. He will be missed by all."

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said that Bednarzyk graduated from Penn State in 2015 with a degree in information sciences and technology.

An university statement reads:

"This is sad news for the Penn State community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends as they mourn the tragic death of Connor, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. He was respected and admired, and his loss is deeply felt. We offer our heartfelt sympathy."

According to the U.S. Army, Bednaryzk was born in Virginia and first served as a platoon leader in 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, before serving at Fort Benning.

Bednarzyk received the following awards and decorations:

Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge, the Army Parachutist Badge, and the Expert Infantryman's Badge. He has also been awarded the Army Achievement Medal w/ 1 Oak Leaf Custer, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.

The U.S. Army said the accident remains under investigation.

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