Chief Master Sgt. Hector Soler, the security forces manager for the 4th Security Forces Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, has been charged in the vehicular death of a teenager, in which Soler was allegedly driving drunk.
Soler faces three charges: felony death by motor vehicle, failure to reduce speed, and driving while impaired, with a blood alcohol content of .16, Seymour Johnson spokesman Robert Kerns said, citing the Goldsboro Police Department. Kerns said Soler turned himself in to Goldsboro police Thursday night.
The Goldsboro News-Argus, which first reported the charges against Soler, said he was freed on a $75,000 secured bond. The News-Argus said Soler was originally charged with felony serious injury by motor vehicle after he allegedly hit 17-year-old Johny Robert Watson, and the charges were upgraded after Watson died Thursday.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to those affected during this difficult time," Col. Christopher Sage, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing, said in a statement provided by Seymour Johnson. "We are truly saddened this young man's life was tragically cut short. We are currently cooperating with local law enforcement and reviewing evidence to determine appropriate action."
As security forces manager at Seymour Johnson, Soler is in charge of overseeing 230 security forces airmen assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1987.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.