CHESTERTON, Ind. (FOX 32 News) - A northwest Indiana man was one of nine soldiers killed in Texas after floodwaters overturned an Army tactical vehicle at a low-water crossing during a training exercise last week. Mitchell Winey, 21, was a West Point cadet from Chesterton, Indiana.
The cadet was set to graduate in 2018 and those that knew him say he was a good athlete, student and leader.
“I know that his father was very proud of him, I remember when he got into West Point and how proud he was of him,” said neighbor Peter Heneghan.
Brendan Seely lives just down the street and went to high school with the Winey family.
“He was in soccer and he was a hard working person, always friendly, had a lot of friends, made people smile,” said Seely.
The Chesterton High School Principal, Jeff Van Drie released this statement:
“The death of Mitch has hit the whole Chesterton community hard. Mitch Winey embodied everything you want to see in a student-leader. Always upbeat, his positive attitude mixed well with a can-do spirit. At Chesterton High School he was a great student athlete who was never without a smile. His untimely death is a great loss for our country, our community, and our school. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family.”
Indiana Governor Mike Pence is ordering that all flags be flown half-staff until sunset the day of Winey's funeral.
Officials identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, of Brooklyn, New York; Spc. Christine Faith Armstrong, 27, of Twentynine Palms, California; Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, of Milton, Florida; Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, of Palmetto, Florida; Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, 19, of San Angelo, Texas; Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, of Dunn, North Carolina; Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, 21, of Jersey City, New Jersey; and Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, of Chesterton, Indiana.
Fort hood released biographical information on the deceased soldiers on facebook.
The heavy rain that’s been hovering over parts of Southeast and Central Texas and caused deadly flooding began to lift Saturday, but officials said the flooding emergency near the Gulf Coast was worsening and Army officials kept up their investigation of a training exercise that turned deadly at Fort Hood.