Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family, officials stunned by deaths at Fort Jackson

Family, officials stunned by deaths at Jackson

Three recruits die in less than a month at post
By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Nov 9, 2008 8:54:53 EST

Cameron Oquendo will never know the soldier his mother, Pvt. Andrea Rosser, could have become.

Rosser died Oct. 25 on the toddler’s first birthday while taking the Army Physical Fitness Test at Fort Jackson, S.C. She was one week away from completing the nine-week basic combat training course.

Rosser’s family is still trying to make sense of their 21-year-old’s sudden death.

“I just spoke to her about three weeks ago; she sounded wonderful,” Rosser’s mother, Georgette, told Army Times in an Oct. 30 telephone interview from her Clayton, N.C., home.

What’s more troubling, her mother said, is Rosser is one of three privates who have died in the past month attending Jackson’s basic training program.

“Three deaths in less than a month — what’s happening?” she asked. “We are trying to grieve for our daughter, and we are still trying to grasp what happened.”

In addition to Rosser, Pvt. Dominique Brooks, 19, of Houston, died Sept. 25 after having a seizure on her barracks floor, and Pvt. Derryl Britt, 20, of Durham, N.C., died Sept. 27 when he was taken off life support after surgery to repair a brain hemorrhage.

Fort Jackson officials are still investigating Rosser’s death and provided limited details of the incident, Jackson spokeswoman Karen Soule said.

Rosser’s mother, Georgette Rosser, said post officials told her that the Oct. 27 autopsy performed on Rosser at the Richland County Coroner’s office was inconclusive.

“We are waiting for the toxicology results to come out,” she said. “She had no pre-existing heath conditions.”

Leaders at Jackson said they are shocked by the three deaths.
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