DUNEDIN — The U.S. Department of Defense has confirmed that Army Spc. Zack Shannon, a soldier from Dunedin, died along with four other soldiers March 11 in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed outside Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. The crash is under investigation.
Shannon's mother and stepfather, Kim and Chip Allison, are planning a celebration of his life at noon Sunday at VFW Post 2550, 360 Douglas Ave., in Dunedin. The event is open to the public. A private family funeral is to be held later. Officials are still working out the details of a parade route to bring Shannon's body to Dunedin after it lands at MacDill Air Force Base, possibly Monday or Tuesday.
Shannon, 21, graduated from Dunedin High School in 2010, joined the U.S. Army and trained to be a helicopter mechanic. He was deployed late last year.
Another Floridian was also killed in the crash: Staff Sgt. Marc A. Scialdo, 31, of Naples.
The other soldiers who died were Staff Sgt. Steven P. Blass, 27, of Estherville, Iowa; Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Henderson, 27, of Franklin, La.; and Capt. Sara M. Knutson, 27, of Eldersburg, Md.
All were assigned to Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia.