Family of contractor killed in F-16 strafing accident will get payout in settlement with Air Force

The family of a contractor who was killed in a strafing accident during a 2017 Air Force training exercise has reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against the service.

Charles Holbrook, a retired Air Force master sergeant and tactical air control party airman, was fatally shot Jan. 31, 2017, at the White Sands Missile Range near Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. An F-16 Fighting Falcon, flown by a student pilot on a nighttime training mission, mistook a row of rental cars in an observation area for the target and fired on them.

Holbrook was struck in the head with a 20mm round at about 7:18 p.m. and died an hour and a half later at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

His wife of more than 22 years, Belen, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Air Force and two unidentified F-16

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