PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Pelham community is mourning after an Army Colonel with strong ties to Alabama was killed Thursday while swimming in Hawaii.
Our sister station KHON in Hawaii reported on the crash. The Army identified him as Kirk Slaughter, originally from Lyons, Nebraska, but the Slaughters have been part of the Alabama community for some time: the two eldest children are graduates of Pelham High School who went on to play sports at UAB.
Officials say Slaughter had been assigned to the 9th MSC for the last year, and had served in the Army Reserve for over 30 years with combined enlisted and commissioned time. His awards include a bronze star medal, four meritorious service medals and two Army achievement medals.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Col. Kirk Slaughter, as they navigate through this difficult time. He was an exceptional officer and friend and he will be deeply missed,” officials with the 9th Mission Support Command said in a statement.
Slaughter was on leave and camping at nearby Pililaau Army Recreation Center at the time of the accident. Witnesses said Slaughter was swimming just outside Waianae Small Boat Harbor around 7:21 a.m. just outside the rock wall at the mouth of the harbor when a 21-foot fishing boat that was entering the harbor ran over him.
Emergency Medical Services reported he passed away at the scene.
A GoFundMe has also been set up in his memory by a family friend.
“Kirk Slaughter was a man loved and adored by all who knew him. Kirk passed unexpectedly in a tragic boating accident on June 15, 2017, off the coast of Hawaii. To know Kirk, truly was to love Kirk,” the GoFundMe reads in part.
Editor’s note–Slaughter’s eldest children attended PHS and UAB with Haley Townsend Rhinehart