Thursday, August 23, 2007

Derek A. Dobogai dies 'of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed'

A soldier from Fond du Lac who was one of the top students in his high school class was among 14 U.S. troops killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in northern Iraq.

An announcement posted during student orientation at Winnebago Lutheran Academy Thursday informed faculty members that Army Captain Derek Dobogai was among those killed in the crash.

Dobogai, who was 26, graduated from the academy in 1999.

The Department of Defense announced the death Thursday night. After the crash, the military said it believed mechanical problems, not enemy fire, brought the helicopter said.

The Reverend Rick Zahn, who is on the academy faculty, remembers Dobogai as a track and cross country athlete, as well as a student who was recognized as an academic letter winner for good grades in each of his four years.

As one of the top ten students in his senior year, he told in the yearbook of his plans for college and gave this quote: "What I have learned at WLA is that God is the one who is in charge ofeverything. All I need to do is trust in Him and He will lead me where I need to go."

From WBAY 2