Friendly fire incident claimed 5 lives, Illinois soldier among them
CHICAGO - A 19-year old soldier from northern Illinois was among the five troops killed in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan this week, according to a spokeswoman for the soldier's family.
Jennie Swartz says the family was informed by Army officials that Aaron Toppen was among those killed on Monday. Amanda Gralewski, Toppen's older sister, says her brother was deployed in March, a month after their father died, and that he was a loving, funny outdoorsman.
The soldiers perished when a U.S. air strike was called to help after a Taliban ambush. U.S. officials say it may have been one of the deadliest friendly-fire incidents in nearly 14 years of war.