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Soldier from Skokie killed in bus crash in Washington state

Army Private ReymB. Tolentino from Skokie who died traffic accident Washingtstate.

Army Private Reymon B. Tolentino, from Skokie, who died in a traffic accident in Washington state.

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A soldier from Skokie has died in a bus crash in Washington state, according to U.S. Army officials, who said Private Reymon B. Tolentino was on his way to the airport to pick up soldiers returning from deployment in Afghanistan.

The civilian driver of the 24-passenger bus carrying Tolentino, 28, and nine other soldiers lost control and crashed around 4:30 p.m. Thursday on Interstate 5 in Lakewood, Wash., according to the Washington State Patrol.

Five other soldiers were injured, and one remained in serious condition Saturday night, according to Lt. Col. Joseph Sowers, spokesman for the 7th Infantry Division, where Tolentino served.

Tolentino, a combat engineer, started active duty in January 2013. He completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

He was serving on the 22nd Engineer Clearance Company’s rear detachment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord while most of the unit was deployed to Afghanistan, Sowers said. He had not been deployed.

His family could not be reached.

Tolentino had received several awards and decorations in the year he served in the army.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pvt. Tolentino’s family and friends in the midst of this tragedy,” Lt. Col. Douglas Brown said.

The bus carrying Tolentino was southbound on Interstate 5 when it hit a light pole and a concrete barrier.

Police are investigating and don’t believe driver impairment was a factor, said Trooper Guy Gill.

Email: bschlikerman@suntimes.com

Twitter: @schlikerman



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