What to Know
- A flag escort will accompany the body of Army Spc. Nicholas Peter DiMona III from Philadelphia International Airport to Marlton, New Jersey.
- DiMona, 20, died during a training exercise in Alaska. His father, also a soldier, himself died during a training accident in 2004.
- The procession will run along I-295. People will be able to pay their respects at various highway overpasses along the route.
A 20-year-old New Jersey paratrooper killed during a training accident was honored with a flag escort as his body makes the 20-mile journey from Philadelphia to South Jersey on Wednesday.
Army Spc. Nicholas Peter DiMona III was fatally shot during a drill at the Donnelly Training area near Fort Greely in Alaska on March 30. As his body arrived at Philadelphia International Airport and made the journey along Interstate 295 to a funeral home in Marlton, New Jersey, fire departments draped large American flags over freeway overpasses to honor the fallen soldier.
The procession pssed through I-295 overpasses between exits 28 and 36. People wanting to pay their respects were able to gather along the Bell Road, Route 168, Warwick Road, Haddonfield Berlin Road, Kresson Road and Chapel Avenue overpasses. The procession ended at the Bradley Funeral Home.
DiMona graduated from Shawnee High School in Medford Lakes and joined the Army in 2017, becoming a specialist and paratrooper. He was based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
DiMona's own father, also a soldier, himself died during a training accident in 2004. At the time, DiMona was only 5 years old.
Melissa DiMona remembers the last thing she said to her son before he took part in the live-fire training exercise in Alaska's interior.
"I just said, 'Please Nick. Just be careful. Just be careful. I love you Nick. I love you,'" the heartbroken mother told NBC10. "And he's like, 'Mom, I love you, too. I'm always careful.'"
Two hours after that phone call with her son, two men in uniform arrived at Melissa DiMona's home and delivered the devastating news.
U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said the investigation will look at anyone responsible for firing the fatal round.