Aug 24, 2023

Ramstein airman dies after weekend motorcycle crash

A security forces airman at Ramstein Air Base in Germany died from wounds he suffered in a motorcycle accident on Oct. 7, 2023.. (86th Airlift Wing)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A 36-year-old service member assigned to Ramstein Air Base died from his injuries following a motorcycle crash over the weekend, military officials and German police said.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Lionel Rhone Jr., a flight sergeant for the 86th Security Forces Squadron, died Tuesday night after being removed from life support, base officials said Wednesday. A spokesman with the Westpfalz police department in Kaiserslautern said the American died Monday, following a statement the department released Tuesday.

The crash occurred Saturday on K53, a country road south of Kaiserslautern near the village of Trippstadt. The man was driving a sports motorcycle when he went off the road at a curve and fell into a ditch, a Westpfalz police report said. Passersby provided first aid before Rhone was airlifted by helicopter with life-threatening injuries to the Westpfalz hospital in Kaiserslautern.

The crash is under investigation by German police.

“We are deeply saddened by the lost of Tech. Sgt. Rhone,” Brig. Gen. Otis Jones, 86th Airlift Wing commander, said in a statement. “Losing one of our own always has a great impact on the Ramstein family, which includes Lionel’s family, friends, and co-workers. We will offer our support in every way possible as they endure this period of grief.”

The airman’s death is the second recent loss from a vehicle crash involving a security forces member in the area. Senior Airman Christopher Lee Rocha died Sept. 5, more than two weeks after being injured in a two-vehicle, head-on collision near Ramstein. Rocha, 24, was a member of the 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron at Vogelweh Air Station. That crash is still under investigation.