By Maj. Bob Couse-Baker
940th Air Refueling Wing
BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airmen here are mourning the loss of Capt. Heidi K. Palmer, 30, an Air Force Reservist assigned to the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron, who died March 15 in a traffic accident while on duty in Honduras.
The minivan in which she was traveling was struck head-on by a heavy truck, instantly killing Capt. Palmer.
Another Airman in the minivan was also killed, and a third was seriously injured. The injured Airman was taken to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to recover. Neither of the other two Airmen are assigned to Beale.
Honduran and American officials are investigating the accident, which occurred near the city of La Ceiba on the Central American nation's Caribbean coast.
Capt. Palmer was deployed in support of New Horizons 2006, a joint training exercise between the U.S. military and the Honduran government. They were assigned to Joint Task Force “Asegurar el Futuro” (Securing the future).
As the officer in charge of a flight of Air Force civil engineers, she was helping build a school in a rural village while on her annual two-week tour of active-duty training.
Capt. Palmer has been in the Air Force Reserve for almost a year. Previously, she had served on active duty here at Beale and at Eielson AFB, Alaska .
“Heidi and her family are in our prayers. We'll do what we can to help her family through this difficult time,” said Col. James L. Kerr, commander of the Air Force Reserve's 940th Air Refueling Wing.
“We will greatly miss her professionalism and enthusiasm,” he said.
Plans for memorial and funeral service arrangements have not yet been finalized.
Memorial Service held for Beale Airman
A memorial service for Capt. Heidi K. Palmer will be held April 1 at 1 p.m. at the Valley Chapel. Captain Palmer died March 15 in a traffic accident while on duty in Honduras. Captain Palmer was an Air Force Reservist assigned to the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron who was deployed in support of New Horizons 2006, a joint training exercise between the U.S. military and Honduran government. Uniform for military personnel is duty uniform.
ETA: I worked with her on some issues while she was on active duty here.
That is most unfortunate.