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Fort Bragg paratrooper dies in motorcycle accident

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — An 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper died Saturday morning from injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident in Fuquay-Varina, according to the 82nd Airborne Public Affairs Office.

Pfc. James Smith, 19, of Eatonville, Wash., was a range extension operator with Charlie Company, 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

“Pfc. Smith was a fine paratrooper whose service and friendship will be sorely missed,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander of 307th BEB. “Although his life and Army career are no more, I know his teammates in this battalion and throughout the airborne community will keep Pfc. Smith’s spirit alive. He is forever in our hearts, and our most sincere condolences go out to his family and friends during this time of grief.”

Smith joined the Army in June 2014. He completed Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon, Ga. He reported to the 82nd Airborne Division and was assigned to 3rd BCT in September 2015.

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.

Smith is survived by his mother, father and stepmother.