Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thruway crash kills N. Tonawanda officer set to deploy to Iraq

Thruway crash kills N. Tonawanda officer set to deploy to Iraq
By Dan Herbeck and Jay Tokasz
December 27, 2009

An Army lieutenant from North Tonawanda who expected to be deployed to Iraq within a few months was killed Saturday morning in a car crash on the Thruway in Chautauqua County.

Jordan A. Bunker, 24, a University at Buffalo graduate who was a former co-captain of the North Tonawanda High School football team, died after he lost control of the car at about 10:10 a. m. and hit a guardrail in the Town of Hanover.

State police said Bunker’s girlfriend — Audrey Brackett, 25, of Fort Knox, Ky. — was taken to Lake Shore Hospital in Irving for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening.

Bunker, a second lieutenant stationed at Fort Knox, had spent Christmas week in North Tonawanda, visiting family and friends, according to his father, Daniel Bunker of North Tonawanda.

“I’ve never seen him happier in his entire life. I think it was because he was in love with [Brackett],” Bunker said. “Jordan arrived here on [Dec. 19] and had the most wonderful week visiting with his family and friends. There were about 70 people who stopped by to see him Wednesday night. On Christmas night, I never saw him stop smiling.”

“He joined the Army last year because the job market here isn’t so good,” Bunker said. “He made a three-year commitment. He was in an armored unit. He told me he expected to be sent to the Middle East and was willing to take that risk to serve his country. My son was a great kid. . . . He touched a lot of lives.”

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