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Second Airman Faces Court-Martial for Fatal Crash

A second driver will be court-martialed in June in connection with last summer’s fatal crash that killed an airman on Highway 1 near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Airman 1st Class D. Randall faces a general court-martial June 1, weeks before another court-martial for Senior Airman Donald Cox. Vandenberg Public Affairs officials did not respond to questions about this case, including to provide the first name of Randall.

The courts-martial stem from a July 13, 2014, crash on Highway 1 near Santa Lucia Canyon Road that killed a fellow airman.

Cox was driving with two passengers when the vehicle overturned, killing Nicholas DiBona, 21, of Fuquay-Varina and injuring the second passenger, John C. Rivera, 22, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Both Rivera and Cox suffered moderate injuries in the wreck that occurred at 4:22 p.m.

Investigators determined Cox reportedly was involved in a speed contest with the driver of another vehicle, believed to be Randall.

Charges against Randall include Article 134 or negligent homicide, Article 111, reckless driving causing no injury, and Article 134 or offenses under the Assimilated Crimes Act, according to the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps docket.

The act makes state law applicable to conduct occurring on land reserved or acquired by the federal government for instances when a crime is not punishable under federal law.

The charge is for the allegation that Cox and Randall violated a California Vehicle Code section by participating in a speed contest.

Randall’s court-martial is expected to last through June 6.

The court-martial for Cox is set to begin June 20. He also is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving with injury.

Asked earlier this year if a second driver faced charges in connection with the crash, Vandenberg Public Affairs officials said they were working to get the information to Noozhawk but never provided it. Civilian sources confirmed the involvement of a second driver.

The CHP previously said Cox’s 2006 Subaru was traveling southbound on the highway at a high rate of speed when it drifted off the right side of the road and down an embankment.

DiBona, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was declared dead at the scene.

The Air Force is handling prosecution after requesting jurisdiction from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

The public highway is on base property with right-of-way easements allowing civilians to travel between the Lompoc and Santa Maria valleys.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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