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Benning Soldier faces charges in fatal crash

Charges are pending against the driver of the vehicle involved in this morning's fatal crash on Macon Road.

Alan Velazquez, 20, a Fort Benning soldier, was driving a 2007 Toyota Scion east on Macon Road about 2 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle.

Killed in the crash was Ryan Wilson, 36, of Columbus.

Columbus Police Lt. Renee McAneny said the vehicle went into a clockwise spin then skid sideways off the road and into the parking lot of Crystal Valley Storage, 6124 Macon Road. The left front and left rear tires struck a curb, a cement pole and then a utility pole. Those collisions sent the Scion into a counterclockwise spin at which point the vehicle struck a unoccupied, parked Penske Rental Truck. The truck slammed into a second parked Penske truck, causing damage to both trucks.

The Scion continued its destructive path, striking the storage unit building before colliding with a second utility pole. The utility pole crashed down on the vehicle, slamming into the roof over the rear passenger area.

Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower pronounced Wilson dead at 2:45 a.m. His body has been sent to Atlanta for an autopsy, Thrower said.

Velazquez and another passenger, Takia Spivey, 33, of Columbus, were transported to The Medical Center. Velazquez was admitted. Spivey was expected to be treated and released for her injuries. Both appeared to have been wearing seat belts.

McAneny said speed was a contributing factor in the crash. Velazquez could face a homicide by vehicle charge, among others. Investigators with the Columbus Police Department's motor squad are waiting for a toxicology report on the driver, McAneny said.

Fort Benning public affairs spokeswoman Elsie Jackson said the specialist is assigned to the 11th Engineer Battalion as a cook in the dining facility. She had no further information about the soldier.

McAneny warned all motorists to buckle up and slow down on the roads.

Please check back with Ledger-Enquirer.com later for updates on this story.

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