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Three Navy sailors killed in plane crash

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BATON ROUGE - The United States Navy identified three sailors that were killed in a C-2A Greyhound crash on Wednesday in the Philippine Sea. The three were identified as Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso.

Chialastri, a Baton Rouge native, was assigned to the USS Ronald Reagan. He was valedictorian of Woodlawn high school's 2013 graduating class. Chialastri was also a member of the JROTC at Woodlawn.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these Sailors," Vice Adm. commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet Phil Sawyer said. "Their service and sacrifice will be lasting in Seventh Fleet and we will continue to stand the watch for them, as they did bravely for all of us."

The C-2A Greyhound was on its way to the USS Ronald Regan on Nov. 22, carrying 11 people, when it crashed into the Philippine Sea. Eight people were rescued at the scene by the Navy.

The USS Ronald Regan led the search and rescue efforts, along with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Sailors, ships and aircraft covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles over the course of two days.

A teacher at Woodlawn says Chialastri was a "brilliant young man."

An investigation into the crash is currently underway.

EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome released a statement Saturday afternoon regarding the deadly crash:

"Our prayers are with the family and loved ones of Airman Matthew Chialastri, a Baton Rouge native who was among three U.S. Navy sailors killed in a C-2A Greyhound crash on Wednesday in the Philippine Sea. Our condolences extend to his fellow service men and women who selflessly serve our great country."


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