Army soldier gets 18 months in deadly drunk-driving crash on JBER

soldier boots
Soldiers stand at attention on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher)

An Army soldier will spend nearly two years in prison for driving drunk in a May collision that killed another soldier on Anchorage’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Army officials said Friday.

Pfc. Andy Ramos, a combat engineer, pleaded guilty to charges of negligent homicide and drunken operation of a motor vehicle resulting in personal injury, according to 11th Airborne Division spokesperson John Pennell. The admission came during Ramos’ Sept. 2 court-martial in the May 28 death of Pfc. Arath Esau Martinez-Arguelles, a mechanic.

Ramos and Martinez-Arguelles both served in the same unit, JBER’s 6th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2d Brigade Combat Team (Airborne).

Pennell said they had been drinking that May evening with other soldiers on base. Ramos was at the wheel of a car, with Martinez-Arguelles and three other soldiers as passengers, when he started to cross a bridge over Ship Creek.

“He lost control of the vehicle, hit part of the bridge abutment and spun so that he collided with an oncoming pickup truck almost head-on,” Pennell said.

Army officials said Martinez-Arguelles died shortly after the crash, with several others — including a soldier, his wife and child in the struck pickup — taken to area hospitals with injuries.

A military charging document said Ramos was over the legal alcohol limit of .08, based on a blood test, and killed Martinez-Arguelles by driving “at an excessive speed while drunk.” He also allegedly asked someone else to say “you were driving” before the crash, the charges say.

Pennell said that under the plea agreement Ramos will be demoted to private and serve 18 months in prison, likely at the Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas. He will then be dishonorably discharged from the Army.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Chris here.

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