MacDill medical ops member killed in car crash

Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE — A member of MacDill Air Force's medical operations squadron died in a traffic accident, officials from the base said in a statement Monday.

Staff Sgt. Cheryl Westbrook was driving in the center lane on I-75 near Riverview on Saturday when another car tried to change lanes and the two collided. Florida Highway Patrol officials said she lost control of the vehicle, hit a Florida Department of Transportation sign and flipped over.

Westbook, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver in the other car, Candelaria M. Perez, 38, was taken to Brandon Regional Hospital. Her condition was not known.

According to a statement from the base, Westbrook was an orthopedic surgical technician with the 6th Medical Operations Squadron. She joined the Air Force in 1995 and arrived at MacDill in 2011. She also served in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Yokota Air Base in Japan, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, and Osan Air Base in South Korea.

"Cheryl was a hardworking and loyal teammate," said Col. Elizabeth Decker, 6th Medical Operations Squadron commander. "She will be missed so very much."

Col. Scott DeThomas, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, said MacDill's first priority is helping Staff Sgt. Westbrook's family and to ensure their team is mentally ready to continue with medical operations.

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