VILONIA, AR - A relative says an Arkansas soldier serving in Iraq died on Memorial Day after a roadside bomb exploded near the Bradley fighting vehicle he was in.
Specialist Zachary Baker of Vilonia died along with five others from a team racing to the scene of a U.S. helicopter crash, according to his stepfather, Ken Wilcher, Jr. Baker served in the First Calvary out of Fort Hood, Texas, and was 24 years old.
His stepfather says Baker is survived by his wife, Christina, and a 7-year-old son.
Brigadier General Perry Wiggins, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has described the crash as part of a "complex" attack by enemy forces who first shot down the helicopter, then used roadside bombs to kill troops rushing to the site. He said two men in the helicopter died in the Memorial Day crash.
Overall, a count by The Associated Press shows 45 military members from Arkansas have died in the Iraq war. Two Arkansans have died in Afghanistan.