Two Army reservists from the Buffalo area were in their first day of using an armored earth mover at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., when that vehicle overturned Tuesday, killing them, an Army spokesman said Wednesday.
Capt. Duane Stefens of the 98th Division, Army Reserve, said Sgt. 1st Class Herbert V. Revill, 43, of Grand Island and Sgt. 1st Class Philip J. Struebel, 40, of Kenmore, were riding in an M-9 armored combat earth mover as part of their annual summer training when the vehicle left the road, went down an embankment and overturned at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.
A third Buffalo-area reservist, Sgt. 1st Class John M. Wanat, 49, of Cheektowaga was injured in the accident. He was listed in serious but stable condition Wednesday in the University of Missouri Medical Center at Columbia, Mo., with broken bones and internal injuries.
A fourth soldier, Sgt. Jerry Davis of the 87th Engineer Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, was in stable condition with a broken pelvis in a hospital on the base, Stefens said.
The three local reservists were assigned to "D" Company of the 98th Division, based at the Army Reserve Center, 100 North Forest Road, Amherst.
Fort Leonard Wood is a base for the U.S. Army Engineers. The accident happened in the Normandy training area of the fort.
Stefens said an Army Accident Safety Board has been convened to investigate the incident and said autopsies will be performed.
"There will be routine -- and I stress routine -- tests done for drug and alcohol as in any accident of this type," Stefens said.
Army spokesman at Fort Leonard Wood said they would have no information on the investigation until it is completed.
Revill, who leaves a wife, Joan, and two children, ages 15 and 10, had 20 years of Army service. His civilian job was as a special representative in the business marketing department with New York Telephone, where he had worked for 17 years.
Struebel, who had 21 years in the Army, is survived by his wife, Linda, and two children. The Army was unable to provide his civilian employment. Family members could not be reached Wednesday.
Zofia Wanat, who left Wednesday morning to be with her husband in the Missouri hospital, said he is a state counselor at Veterans Hospital.
Mrs. Wanat said he joined the Army after high school and served in Vietnam. She said he joined the Army Reserves about 10 years ago. The Wanats have three children.