Guardsman killed was traveling to Brewton in preparation for training

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Alabama National Guard Humvee carrying two soldiers that crashed and killed one soldier and injured another was headed to Brewton, military officials said Tuesday.

“The soldiers were heading to Brewton in preparation for their annual training period,” said Maj. Andrew J. Richardson, deputy public affairs officer. “The unit was scheduled to conduct its annual training at Eglin Air Force Base.”

The crash occurred at 9:43 a.m., on May 31, on I-65 near mile marker 64, north of Atmore.

The soldier killed in the crash was Staff Sgt. John Wesley Wardrop, 38, of Satsuma.

Wardrop was a squad leader with the Alabama National Guard’s 1165th Military Police Co. in Fairhope. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I am truly saddened at this loss,” said Maj. Gen. Sheryl E. Gordon, Alabama National Guard adjutant general. “I’ve lost soldiers before, and it never gets easier. I am praying for the family and we are reaching out to them to help them in any way we can.”

Wardrop was on a mission preparing for his unit’s annual training when the Humvee he was driving crashed.

The passenger in the Humvee was Justin Cecil McCollough, 25, of Grand Bay. He was taken to D.W. McMillian Memorial Hospital