‘Such a loss’: 2 women in South Carolina Army National Guard died after head-on collision

‘Such a loss’: 2 women in South Carolina Army National Guard died after head-on collision

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Two 19-year-old women serving in the South Carolina Army National Guard died after being involved in a horrific wreck earlier this month.

Carol Santiago and Kristal Lopez died after the sedan they were in collided head-on with a pickup truck going in the opposite direction, the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Union County coroner told WHNS.

Krystal Lopez (left) and Carol Santiago (right)

Lopez and the driver of the truck were taken to a hospital, but Santiago, who was a passenger in the sedan, died on March 16 at the scene, the South Carolina Army National Guard said in a news release emailed to USA TODAY.

Lopez, the driver of the sedan, died from her injuries on March 23 at Spartanburg Regional Hospital, according to the National Guard’s news release.

“Our 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade family has suffered a heart-wrenching loss at the passing of Spc. Lopez. We will never forget Kristal and her bright smile, willingness to lend a hand, but especially the pride she exuded when in uniform. We now honor her by surrounding Kristal’s family with love and support during this difficult time.” Col. Linda J. Riedel, commander of the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade with the South Carolina Army National Guard, said in the release.

USA TODAY contacted the Union County coroner and South Carolina Highway Patrol but did not receive an immediate response for comment.

News ‘We have lost not one, but two of our family members,’ South Carolina Army National Guard says

The collision remains under investigation while Lopez’s and Santiago’s comrades mourn.

“The South Carolina National Guard is in mourning today. We have lost not one, but two of our family members with Spc. Kristal Lopez’s passing. There is no way to reconcile such a loss,” Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, adjutant general in South Carolina, said in the release. “Please keep the Lopez and Santiago families in your thoughts and prayers.”

Members of the Army National Guard wait at a staging location near the Columbia Canal October 7, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Santiago, of Lancaster, South Carolina, was a human resources specialist assigned to the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, according to the National Guard. Her awards and decorations included the Army Service Ribbon.

Lopez, also of Lancaster, was a paralegal specialist assigned to the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, the National Guard said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2 women in South Carolina Army National Guard killed in head-on wreck

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