Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fort Hood accident claims life of Army soldier from Palmetto

Pfc. Zachery Fuller of Palmetto,who died with eight others when a military vehicle overturned in Texas last week, enjoyed the fitness training and camaraderie of the Army. [Photo courtesy of Teri Colemon]

Pfc. Zachery Fuller of Palmetto,who died with eight others when a military vehicle overturned in Texas last week, enjoyed the fitness training and camaraderie of the Army. [Photo courtesy of Teri Colemon]

Teri Colemon sees her son as the kind of man who was made for the Army.

Pfc. Zachery Fuller, 23, was a "health nut," she said. A Palmetto resident and third-generation soldier, he especially loved the camaraderie of the military.

Fuller, along with seven other U.S. Army soldiers and a West Point cadet, died after a June 2 accident at a storm-swollen creek at Fort Hood, Texas, about 70 miles north of Austin.

A large troop-carrying truck known as a light medium tactical vehicle overturned at Owl Creek, according to a Fort Hood news release. Three soldiers survived after they were rescued from the water, the news release said.

The incident is under investigation, said Tyler Broadway, Fort Hood spokesman, but findings could be anywhere from six months to two years away.

Colemon, 45, also of Palmetto, remembered her son as a uniting force in her family. When her parents moved to the Tampa Bay area a few years ago, her father asked Fuller, his grandson, to move from North Carolina with them.

"My son was just extremely close with his grandfather, so my dad just wanted him with him," she said. Colemon eventually moved down, too, and now works at a clothing store.

Fuller's "mind was always older than his age," she said. Before Fuller began active-duty service in November, he consulted with veterans in his family about whether to join.

"He just felt like he was too old to be living in the house and he needed to go move out and take care of himself," Colemon said. "He already was very responsible, but he felt like it was time to go ahead and move out."

Fuller was a motor transport operator, stationed at Fort Hood since April as a member of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, according to a Fort Hood release.

Just seven months into his service, he was already talking about becoming an officer.

Before joining the military, Fuller channeled his self-discipline into fitness training. He would run every day, Colemon said, and had a love for the pursuit since his days sprinting for the track team at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, N.C.

"That was his thing," she said.

Fitness training along with friendship were the attractions he enjoyed most in the military, Colemon said.

She is mourning the loss of his friendliness.

"When he hugs you, he has this really stiff hug that he does," she said. "He was just wonderful."

Times staff writer Tony Marrero contributed to this report. Contact Samuel Howard at (813)-226-3373 or showard@tampabay.com. Follow @SamuelHHoward.

.Biography

Zachery Fuller

Born: Feb. 20, 1993

Died: June 2, 2016

Services: Viewing 5 to 8 p.m. June 17 at Bible Baptist Church, 1720 Sixth Avenue W in Palmetto. Memorial service 1 p.m. June 18 at Bible Baptist Church.

Fort Hood accident claims life of Army soldier from Palmetto 06/07/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 10:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  2. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges

    Criminal

    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?

    Editorials

    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  4. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination

    Civil

    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.

  5. Editorial: UF should reconsider denying white nationalist's request to speak

    Editorials

    University of Florida president Kent Fuchs understandably cited security concerns Wednesday in denying white nationalist Richard Spencer's application to speak next month on campus. But those security concerns could be addressed, and they should not stamp out free speech at a public university that aspires to be great. …

    The University of Florida, citing security concerns, has denied white nationalist Richard Spencer’s application to speak on campus in September.