Update: 21-year-old Fort Bliss soldier dies in motorcycle crash on Eastside

El Paso News

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include information about Mandel’s Army service.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A 21-year-old Fort Bliss soldier died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash that happened on April 5. The El Paso Police Department said Ethan Harvey Mandel died on Saturday.

Mandel was involved in a single-vehicle collision in the early morning hours on April 5 that left
him in critical condition. According to EPPD Special Traffic Investigations Unit detectives, Mandel was southbound at the 1800 block of George Dieter Dr., reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed. He failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and his 2008 Honda CBR motorcycle hopped a curb and struck landscaping bushes and rocks on the median.

Mandel was ejected from the motorcycle and landed in the north lanes of the 1700 block of George Dieter. Although he was wearing a helmet, he sustained life-threatening injuries. He was transported to Del Sol Medical Center, where he remained in the ICU until his death.

Fort Bliss officials said on Tuesday that he has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Mandel enlisted as a 31B Military Police specialist in the U.S. Army in April 2018 from St. Augustine, Florida. Fort Bliss was his first duty station. He arrived at Fort Bliss in September 2018 after completing One Station Unit Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

He served in the 212th Military Police Company and 978th Military Police Company before being selected to serve as a Military Police Investigator in the 72d Military Police Detachment. He received assignment instructions to serve at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, Belgium following completion of his assignment at Fort Bliss.

“Sgt. Mandel was a tremendous Soldier and valued member of the 72d Military Police Detachment. His passion for law enforcement and drive to assist, protect, and defend countless Soldiers, Families, DoD Civilians, Retirees, and members of the Fort Bliss community was boundless. The loss we all feel is incredibly deep. We will forever share a part of him and will carry his memory forward with us. The entire Detachment sends our deepest condolences to his Family and friends during this time and offer any assistance possible in this time of grieving,” Capt. Jamie Perez, Commander, and Sgt. 1st Class Dean Helkowski, Detachment Sergeant, 72d Military Police Detachment said.

Mandel’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal (2), National Defense Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon. He has been posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal and Army Good Conduct Medal.

Investigators believe speed and alcohol to be contributing factors in this collision. This is the 17th traffic fatality of 2021, compared to 21 this time last year.

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