A decorated Spokane soldier was among the seven U.S. servicemen killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this week, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.
Chief Warrant Officer Niall D. Lyons, 40, died Oct. 26 in Darreh-ye Bum, Afghanistan while assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Regiment, based in Savannah, Ga. Three federal drug agents also were killed in the crash. Another crash the same day killed four soldiers.
Lyons graduated from Shadle Park High School in 1988, earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Eastern Washington University in 1995 and spent three years as a soldier before being accepted into the Army Warrant Officer program, where he graduated from flight school in 1999.
He worked as a flight instructor and was deployed in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan, according to a biography posted on the Army’s Web site. Lyons won several awards for his army service, including two air medals and four army commendation medals.
He is survived by a son in Alabama and two brothers, a sister, and his mother and father, all of Spokane.
Also killed were Chief Warrant Officer Michael P. Montgomery, 36, of Redmond, Wash.; Staff Sgt Shawn H. McNabb, 24, of Terrell, Texas; Sgt. Josue E. Hernandez-Chavez, 23, of Las Vegas, Nev.; Spc. Nickolas A. Mueller, 26, of Little Chute, Wis., all of the 3rd Battalion 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment with Lyons. Sgt. 1st Class David E. Metzger, 32, of San Diego, Calif., and Staff Sgt. Keith R. Bishop, 28, of Smithtown, N.Y., of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, N.C also died.
Sgt. 1st Class David E. Metzger, 32, of San Diego, Calif., and Staff Sgt. Keith R. Bishop, 28, of Smithtown, N.Y., of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, N.C also were killed.