HomeNewsArticle Display

Board releases report on Airman's fitness death

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

Air Force Materiel Command released findings of the Ground Accident Investigation Board which examined the death of an Airman following physical fitness testing on August 16, 2019.

Capt. Tranay L. Tanner collapsed and stopped breathing shortly after 8 a.m. following completion of the 1.5 mile run portion of her Air Force Fitness Assessment at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.  Airmen on site performed CPR near the outdoor running track and she was initially transported by ambulance to the Eglin AFB Hospital Emergency Room.

Medical providers with the 96th Medical Group took actions to stabilize and treat her respiratory failure. After laboratory results showed acute kidney failure with critically high levels of potassium, she was transported to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center for emergent dialysis.  Her condition continued to worsen throughout the day and evening.  She died following another cardiac arrest early August 17.

The report noted Tanner did have a known diagnosis of sickle cell trait, but had no prior complications related to this condition nor any previous medical complications during or after exercise or prior fitness assessments. 

The Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy determined the cause of death to be multi-organ system failure due to cardiac arrhythmia of uncertain etiology.  The Medical Examiner concluded while there is no direct evidence the presence of sickle cell trait was the initiating event, it cannot be ruled out due to the transient nature of a sickle cell crisis. For that reason, the autopsy report listed sickle cell trait as a contributing factor to her death. 

Tanner, a 2012 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, was an intelligence officer assigned to the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 2.  The Ground Accident Investigation Board President, Brig. Gen. John C. Kubinec, said she “was highly respected by peers, subordinates, and superiors alike. She was a dedicated Airman who served her nation with distinction and left a lasting positive impact on everybody she met.”

The primary purpose of the board was to provide a publicly releasable summary of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.  The GAIB report is available at https://www.afjag.af.mil/AIB-Reports/.