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Airman 1st Class Ethan Lilleberg Ethan Lilleberg, an Air Traffic Controller apprentice of the 27th Special Operations Support Squadron, died in a car crash in Pensacola, Florida on March 3. 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Lilleberg, a 20-year-old Minnesota native, was a passenger in a Ford F150 that was being driven by a 19-year-old. They were traveling northbound on Highway 29 when the driver turned to go left onto Highway 97 and the truck was struck on the passenger side by a southbound semi.

Lillegberg, originally from Atwater, Minnesota, was airlifted to a Pensacola hospital where he died from his injuries. 

“Ethan was a deeply loved member of the Wizard family,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Hardwick, 27th Special Operations Support Squadron commander. “He was a bright and funny person, known as the preeminent jokester, who lit up every room he entered. You can’t replace the joy Ethan brought to our organization. He will be profoundly missed. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Lilleberg was active duty U.S. Air Force and had been stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in Cloivs, New Mexico. His mother, Jeanne Lilleberg, announced on Facebook that he was in Florida for a weekend wedding. 

“We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of life within our Air Commando family,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Terence Taylor, 27th Special Operations Wing commander. “Our hearts are with Ethan’s family and friends for this irreplaceable loss. Our focus now is to take care of Ethan’s family, friends and fellow Airmen, ensuring those affected by his loss are supported during this difficult time.”

The crash remains under investigation. 

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