Two area service members were killed in separate training accidents over the weekend, the U.S. military announced Monday.
Spec. Nicholas Peter DiMona III, 20, of Medford Lakes, was participating in a live-fire exercise near Fort Greely, Alaska, when he was shot, the Army said Monday in a news release. DiMona, a paratrooper, received immediate medical care on site and then was transported by helicopter to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The shooting is under investigation, the Army said.
Earlier Monday, a Montgomery County man was identified as one of two Marine pilots who died in a helicopter crash during a training mission in southwestern Arizona. Maj. Matthew M. Wiegand, 34, of Ambler, and Capt. Travis W. Brannon, 30, of Nashville, Tenn., were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday night on the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma training grounds in Arizona. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
DiMona was assigned to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska. He joined the Army in July 2017 and trained at Fort Benning, Ga., before reporting to Alaska in April 2018.
“Nick was an outstanding paratrooper with an infectious personality and an uncanny desire to excel no matter the challenge,” said Col. Jason Jones, brigade commander. “He will be missed by the entire Spartan Brigade. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family.”
DiMona’s father also died in a training exercise in 2004. Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas P. DiMona II, 32, had flown in the Iraq War and was a lead pilot during the first combat mission of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.
DiMona II, of Barrington, was piloting an Apache Longbow in Georgia on June 22, 2004, when the helicopter crashed, killing DiMona and Warrant Officer William L. Loffer, 25, of Indiana. Nicholas DiMona III was 5 years old at the time.
Wiegand, who joined the Marines in 2008, was assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One in Yuma. His previous duty stations included the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla; the Marine Corps Base Camp in Pendleton, Calif.; and the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma.
Marine Corps officials said the AH-1Z Viper crashed while the pilots were conducting a training mission as part of a weapons and tactical instructor course.
Marine officials said Wiegand previously deployed in support of a Unit Deployment Program in Okinawa, Japan, and his personal decorations included the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a gold star.
Officials said Wiegand held qualifications in the AH-1Z Viper and AH-1W Super Cobra.