EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – After the El Paso Police Department’s (EPPD) STI Unit identified the motorcyclist killed in a midnight wreck on Saturday, Fort Bliss officials confirmed Wednesday he was assigned to their post.
The motorcyclist has now been identified as 32-year-old Sgt. Luis Baltazar Torres, assigned to Fort Bliss, originally from San Antonio.
Sgt. Torres, was assigned to 3-6 Air Cavalry Squadron, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade as a 15E, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Repairer.
Torres joined the U.S. Army in April 2010 out of San Antonio and he completed his Basic Combat Training at
Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Advanced Individual Training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona and then assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.
Torres had two combat deployments, a seven month deployment to Iraq and a five month deployment to Afghanistan. He also completed an eight month operational deployment to Kuwait while assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.
Following his deployments, Torres completed a 34 month tour in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“The Iron Eagle family has suffered a tremendous loss with the tragic passing of Sgt. Luis Torres. The entire brigade joins me in sending our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates in the CAB. Sgt. Torres was a pivotal member of our team and the Army. His dedication and perseverance were instrumental in the success of his UAS platoon, 3-6 ACS, and the entire Brigade…”Col. Geoffrey A. Whittenberg, commander of the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade.
Torres was a graduate of the U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer Basic Leader Course, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Course and the Combat Life Saver Course.
His awards and decorations include two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Korea Defense Service Medal, a NATO Meritorious Service Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbon and an Army Aviation Badge.
Officials say the wreck happened shortly before midnight on Saturday in the Northbound lanes of US-54.
According to EPPD officials the motorcyclist was traveling northbound a high rate of speed, and came up upon two vehicles, attempting to drive between them.
The Torres lost control of his motorcycle, striking the rear end of a 2008 Honda Civic driven by 18 –year old Evan Israel Neria.
Investigators say Torres was thrown from his bike, landing on the landscaping rocks that separate US-54 and the Transmountain exit. He was not wearing a helmet.
Police add that this is the 22nd traffic fatality compared to 19 last year.
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