BRADENTON, Fla. -- Eyes at the Pentagon may soon be taking a closer look at the safety of military trainees, due to the circumstances surrounding a Bradenton soldier’s death and his mothers relentless push for change.
What You Need To Know
- Army SPC Nicolas Panipinto died after a training accident.
- His mother says help did not arrive fast enough.
- She's fighting to protect other soldiers.
On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Pentagon to examine emergency medical services at U.S. military bases. It was sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican from Longboat Key.
Bradenton soldier Army SPC Nicolas Panipinto died in a vehicle training accident late last year in South Korea. His mother, Kimberly Weaver, said it took two hours for her injured son to make it from the accident site at Camp Humphries to the nearest hospital, which was located off the base. After receiving nine pints of blood, he died later that day from his injuries.
A formal report showed that a MedEvac helicopter got lost on the way to Panipinto, and a second never got off the ground. A series of missteps caused the delay in medical care that could have saved his life, Weaver said.
“People were telling me at the beginning, you can’t fight the military, and nothing’s ever going to change the outcome,” she said. “But it was never about that. It was just about making sure this never happens to anyone else.”
She began pushing for changes to get hospitals on military training bases and more accessible medical care.
“He wanted to fight for other people and protect them, and he’s done that now,” Weaver said.
Now that the legislation has passed its first major hurdle, it will be in the hands of the Senate.