2 Fort Benning soldiers killed by fallen tree in north Georgia identified

According to the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence the incident happened at Yonah Mountain near Dahlonega.
CBS46 News at 9 p.m. (M-F PeachtreeTV) - VOD
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 10:44 PM EDT
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FORT BENNING, Ga. (CBS46) - Two Fort Benning soldiers died Tuesday in what Army officials call a weather-related incident.

According to the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence the incident happened at Yonah Mountain near Dahlonega.

Three other service members were injured and taken to the hospital, according to the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence .

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of 2nd Lt. Evan Fitzgibbon and Staff Sgt. George Taber,” Army officials said in a news release.

Officials confirm that during a Ranger School weather-induced training event on August 9 at Yonah Mountain near Dahlonega, Ga., five Ranger candidates were struck by a falling tree.

Fitzgibbon and Taber died at the hospital. Three other candidates were injured in the incident. Two were treated for non-life threatening injuries and one remains stable under medical care.

Fitzgibbon was an Infantry officer assigned to the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course, 199th Infantry “Leader Brigade” at Fort Benning, Ga. He was a graduate of West Point - The U.S. Military Academy and commissioned in May 2021.

Taber was a Special Forces Medical Sergeant assigned to the The 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He had served in the Army since his enlistment in March 2017.

“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and leadership of these two outstanding leaders who unexpectedly lost their lives in the pursuit of excellence.”