Two dead in M18 Hellcat accident

According to the KTVZ news in Oregon, two people were killed at a firing range in an explosion involving an M18 Hellcat. The news report footage shows that the vehicle is named “Rachel.”  No names of the victims have been released.  “Rachel” is a well known vehicle, having been used in TV shows and charity events.  The vehicle is owned by Steve Preston, a collector of military hardware and vehicles in the Portland Oregon area.  He and his vehicle “Rachel” were featured in the Wall Street Journal last month.  Photo gallery of Mr. Preston and his collection here.  This is the second incident this year of a fatal accident involving a WWII era AFV.

Update: The Military Vehicle Preservation Association has confirmed that one of the victims was vehicle owner Steve Preston.

Steve Preston
1964 – 2015

It is with great sadness that the MVPA reports the passing of MVPA Board Director and Convention Chairman Steve Preston.  Steve was fatally injured in an accident Tuesday, October 27 while participating in an historic military vehicle demonstration, an event that was among his favorite activities.

The Association will provide further information as it becomes available.  The Board asks all MVPA members to keep Steve’s wife, Rachel, and two daughters in their thoughts and prayers.  We were all touched and enriched by Steve, and will miss our dear friend.

Tank and AFV News offers our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Steve Preston.

Comments

  1. My condolences to the families of the deceased, of course.

    Without knowing any details, it’s hard to assign blame, but it sounds like a tragic accident. What is REALLY inexcusable is the death of a man a few months ago who was riding on the outside and front glacis plate (I believe) on an M-3 somewhere in Wisconsin, I believe. Riding on a tank’s side or rear, hanging onto the turret I can see, but in front??

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  2. Glen A. Braid says:

    I had the great honour of knowing Steve through the work I do providing military vehicles to the movie industry in Canada.
    While seeing his fantastic work as a collector and the great organizational endeavours he did to ensure the many MVPA conventions he organized, where beyond great.

    Steve will be greatly missed by thouse that pursue the hobby/craft of military vehicles collecting and the historical significance of said vehicles.
    With that said Steve, made a great contribution to collecting military vehicles in North America via the MVPA. And must be honoured for it.

    BZ Steve

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  3. Glen A. Braid says:

    I had the great honour of knowing Steve through the work I do providing military vehicles to the movie industry in Canada.
    While seeing his fantastic work as a collector and the great organizational endeavours he did to ensure the many MVPA conventions he organized, where beyond great.

    Steve will be greatly missed by thouse that pursue the hobby/craft of military vehicles collecting and the historical significance of said vehicles.
    With that said Steve, made a great contribution to collecting military vehicles in North America via the MVPA. I am honoured for it .

    Like

  4. Although not knowing Steve personnally, I have read – as a military vehicle collector in Brazil – his great commitment with MVPA affairs and very distinctive man being involved in organizational aspects of MV conventions – some of them I attended. The tragic circumstances he passed away, so as with the 22 year-old young gunner of the tank is absolutely unexplainable. As a MVPA overseas member I have sent condolences to the family, of course to MVPA staff as well . Rest in peace Steve – your mission is accomplished!
    Claudio – Florianopolis, Brazil

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