Navy serviceman killed in 5 Freeway convoy pileup near Camp Pendleton identified as 26-year-old from New York

SAN DIEGO (KABC) -- Authorities have released the name of a Navy serviceman who died in a freeway pileup involving a convoy of military trucks en route to Camp Pendleton.

Aaron Fish, 26, and fellow members of Ventura County-based Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 were headed south on the 5 Freeway in San Onofre shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday when a car suddenly stopped in front of them, causing the five military trucks to begin rear-ending each other, according to the Navy and the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.

The vehicle Fish was driving wound up crushed between two of the others in the convoy, killing him at the scene.

Paramedics took four other sailors -- three men and two women, all in their early 20s -- to Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and Mission Hospital in Orange County for treatment of injuries ranging in severity from serious to minor, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP and naval authorities were investigating the accident.

According to a statement from the Navy, Fish was deployed to Guam, where he was vital to the completion of complex engineering tasks, such as assisting with the 150-bed Expeditionary Medical Facility as part of the Department of Defense's fight against COVID-19 on board Naval Base Guam.

He was Seabee Combat Warfare qualified, received a Flag Letter of Commendation from the Joint Region Marinas for his COVID-19 recovery efforts, and was recently meritoriously advanced to Petty Officer 3rd Class. Fish also volunteered, became certified in CPR, and completed numerous other weapon qualifications-including the M-16 riffle, M-9 pistol, and crew serve weapons, the statement read.

"NMCB-5 extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends for EO3 Fish," said Cmdr. Ryan Carey, NMCB-5's commanding officer. "Through my personal encounters with him and many conversations with his shipmates over recent days, Aaron is a cherished member of our team who loved his work, helping others, and making people smile. As we mourn the loss of Aaron, I want to extend my gratitude to Aaron's family, who has been so gracious during this most difficult time, and for the rallying support from Seabees here in Port Hueneme and around the globe. NMCB-5 is so grateful for our time with Aaron. We miss him deeply."

City News Service contributed to this report.

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