Navy SEAL from LI Jonathan Kaloust killed in training accident
A U.S. Navy SEAL who was a star wrestler at Massapequa High School was killed during a training exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., when a Humvee overturned, military officials said Friday.
Jonathan H. Kaloust, 23, died Wednesday night as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, according to Naval Special Warfare Group Two based in Virginia Beach, Va.
The Humvee was part of a convoy on the post. It was unclear what caused it to flip, and an investigation was under way, the military said.
Five other Navy SEALS and two sailors sustained minor injuries in the accident and were released from a hospital, said Lt. David Lloyd, a SEAL spokesman.
The sailors had been conducting tactical training, but Lloyd would not release further details about the exercise because it was considered sensitive.
"The Naval Special Warfare community is deeply saddened by this tragic accident," said Capt. Robert Smith, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group Two. "Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the family and friends of our fallen teammate and those injured in the accident."
Naval Special Warfare Group Two oversees a variety of operations, including reconnaissance and counterterrorism.
Kaloust, a special warfare operator 3rd class, was based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek at Fort Story in Norfolk, Va. He joined the Navy in March 2011, according to a statement provided by the military.
He grew up in Massapequa, attending Lockhart Elementary School, Berner Middle School and Massapequa High School. He lettered in wrestling all four years in high school, won two league championships, and served as team captain, the statement said.
After high school, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Binghamton University, where he also had a successful wrestling career.
The U.S. Navy has used the 170-square-mile Fort Knox as a training ground since World War II. The Army post is about 50 miles southwest of Louisville and is home to about 14,000 military personnel, including active-duty members and reserves.
Kentucky's Salt River runs through the Army base. According to the Federal Register, the Corps of Engineers considers sections of the Salt River that fall within Fort Knox to be danger zones. The river is used by the military for training and other exercises.
Kaloust is survived by his parents, Gary and Irene Kaloust, and his sister, Melanie, of Massapequa, the military said. The family declined to comment Friday.