A Southeast Texas airman has died following a single vehicle car crash at a U,S. Air Force base in Japan.
Airman 1st Class Isaac Colligan, 21, of Beaumont, died in a one-vehicle accident Sunday at the Yokota Air Base according to a report in Stars & Stripes.
"His loss leaves a deep scar, but we will come together in this time of mourning, honor and cherish our memories of him and begin the painful process of healing," Col. Kenneth Moss, the 374th Airlift Wing commander, told the Stars and Stripes newspaper.
Yokota Air Base is in Fussa, Japan, west of Tokyo.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
Isaac Colligan knew that he wanted to be in the military when he was in junior high.
“My heart sunk when he first told me,” said Catherine Colligan, Isaac’s mother. “It was a shock to me. That was my baby you know. I didn’t want him to go that far but I knew that was his decision. And he was very adamant. He said he knew what he wanted to do since junior high and he never wanted to tell me because he knew that I would try to change his mind.”
Colligan, who was raised in Beaumont, and attended Harmony Science Academy before moving to Pearland to finish school, was stationed at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo, Japan. His father says being in the air force allowed him new experiences.
“He said that he wanted to leave and go experience the world and he was going to do it through the United States Air Force,” said Paul Colligan. “And so he asked for our permission and of course I wasn’t going to stop him from doing that. I thought it was a great thing for him to want to go and serve his country.”
Now the family is trying to move on after Isaac’s tragic death on Sunday.
“It’s kind of ironic actually,” explained Mr. Colligan. “You expect that if it’s something that if they get hurt it will be in the occupation that they are doing but accidents do happen whether it was there or here. Accidents do happen and it’s something that you have to accept in life.”
And although these are hard times for the Colligan family, they are trying to remain positive.
“I’m extremely proud of him and I’m sure he wouldn’t want me to be sad,” said Mr. Colligan. “So he was an excellent young man, and he carried himself extremely well. And I can’t help but be proud, and so I’m satisfied with what God wanted from him.”