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23-year-old Airman killed in crash on I-25

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) --- An active-duty airman died in a car crash on I-25 early Sunday morning.

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, a 2015 Jeep Wrangler was traveling northbound on I-25 around 5 a.m. The driver swerved off the right shoulder of the road and down a grass embankment. The Jeep crashed into the side of a metal guard rail, causing it to flip over.

Academy first responders, including firefighters, police, and contracted ambulance services, were the first to respond. No one else was in the car.

Monday, the U.S. Air Force Academy identified the victim as 23-year-old Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Denardo of Slidell, Louisiana.

The Academy is heartbroken and in shock with the tragic loss of one of our own. Our thoughts are with Sergeant Denardo’s family and team members during this incredibly difficult time.

Col. Christopher Leonard, 10th Air Base Wing commander

Denardo served in the 10th Surgical Operations Squadron, 10th Medical Group as the non-commissioned officer in charge of Surgical Supply since July following assignment from Travis AFB, California. She joined the Air Force in July 2017 and was promoted to staff sergeant on July 1, 2021.

“Kaitlyn Denardo was like gravity to people and she had a fire to her that people responded to. She was a bright Airman with a great reputation and a huge personality that everyone loved,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Wells, Airman Leadership School commandant, Travis AFB, California. “We were proud to name her the Distinguished Graduate of her Airman Leadership School Class in November 2020. That is a peer award, and its selection says a lot about an Airman.”

Her decorations include the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Robbin with Gold Border, U.S. Air Force Professional Military Education Ribbon, and the Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon.

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Kerjan Donovan

Kerjan is the weekend morning anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Kerjan here

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