Army hero killed helping stranded Virginia driver change flat tire

FORT LEE, Va. -- Col. Gregory Townsend, commander, 23rd Quartermaster Brigade, U.S. Army Quartermaster School, was killed after stopping on Route 460 to help a stranger change a flat tire, according to a Fort Lee spokesperson.

"As he finished changing the tire, the vehicle fell on him," Fort Lee spokesperson Dani Johnson said. "He was taken by a life flight helicopter to VCU Critical Care Hospital, Richmond, Virginia, where he received treatment until his death."

Townsend, 46, died April 22.

The incident on Route 460 happened April 18.

"The loss of Col. Greg Townsend is devastating for his family and the Army," Brig. Gen. Douglas M. McBride Jr., 55th Quartermaster General and commandant, Quartermaster School, said.

Townsend, an Auburn University graduate, joined the Army in May 1996.

He served two tours in Iraq (February 2003 – February 2004 and August 2009 – August 2010) and one in Afghanistan (October 2009 – January 2010). He arrived at Fort Lee in July 2017 where he assumed command of the brigade.

"He was a dedicated leader and the most genuine man you could meet," Brig. Gen. McBride Jr. said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s family and friends during this very difficult time. His legacy as a servant leader will live on in the hearts and minds of all Soldiers that he has served with and led."

During his time in the military, Townsend was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Staff Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.

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