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Hays Soldier Killed in Crash

Associated Press - November 27, 2015 5:04 pm

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The Army has released the identities of four crew members who were killed when their helicopter crashed during a routine training exercise at Fort Hood in Texas.

The Black Hawk went down about 6 p.m. Monday in the northeast portion of the sprawling military post about 60 miles north of Austin. Killed were 40-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Toby A. Childers, of Hays, Kansas; 40-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen B. Cooley, of Cantonment, Florida; 35-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Jason M. Smith, of Destrehan, Louisiana; and 40-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael F. Tharp, of Katy, Texas.

The cause of the crash remains undetermined.

Fort Hood covers 214,000 acres, making it one of the largest Army posts in the country. More than 135,000 acres are reserved for training purposes.

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