Colonel dies from crash injuries

Col. Alexander Merz, then vice commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, takes the oath of office during his promotion ceremony in 2013.

JOHNSON VALLEY — An Air Force colonel from Texas who was hurt in a crash on Old Woman Springs Road May 16 died Sunday.

Col. Alexander Merz, 50, was deputy director of Special Programs with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. He would have worked on technical intelligence-collecting capabilities and clandestine technical operations, according to the undersecretary’s office.

A GoFundMe account set up for his family states he was in the area doing work for the undersecretary’s office in Palm Springs. A media representative from that office said she could not confirm or deny that.

Merz was driving a 2018 Nissan Versa northbound on Old Woman Springs Road near Olvine Road around 4:40 p.m. May 16. According to the California Highway Patrol, Twentynine Palms resident Anthony Wilson, 27, was driving a 2019 Ford F150 south and crossed a solid yellow line to pass slower traffic. 

Wilson went into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with Merz’s car.

Firefighters needed the Jaws of Life to extract him Merz from his car. He was flown to Desert Regional Medical Center, where he died May 19.

Wilson was able to leave his vehicle without help and was driven to the Desert Regional Medical Center by ground ambulance.

CHP Officer Jason Kobaly said the investigation into the crash has not been completed.

“In the normal course of investigation, if there are any charges that are discovered, those will be looked into and if they are confirmed, we will work with the district attorney’s office to bring those forward,” Kobaly said.

According to an Air Force biography posted on GoFundMe by friends after his death, Merz deployed twice to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, once to Operation Enduring Freedom and twice to the war in Iraq.

He commanded the 93rd Intelligence Squadron and from 2013 to 2015 was vice commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, the Air Force wing that supports the National Security Agency and the Air Force with cryptologic intelligence.

He served as director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for Air Force Special Operations from June 2015 to June 2018.

Merz is survived by his wife, Tristan, and three children.

Merz was commissioned at University of Wyoming in December 1992. In his ensuing career, he worked at Air Force Special Operations Command, Pacific Air Forces and the Joint Analysis Center, a military intelligence analysis center in England run by the Defense Intelligence Agency. He attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. 

(4) comments

don mckinney

He would have known 9/11 was an inside job , plenty of common sense proof . Why did he NOT say something when he saw something ? Hopefully before the genocide in Iraq occurred if he was a citizen or soldier then . May be he was about to tell us the truth before he was needlessly killed ? Where is the high level investigation after the 9/11 " dancing Israelis " were identified after fbi foia requests finally confirmed they knew all along that the Israelis were there to see and film the 9/11 event . intell .

don mckinney

With his intelligence back ground , he could have informed us why the air force and NATO are spraying us with geo-weather modification aerial aerosol spraying . This is Barium Oxide , Aluminum Oxide Silver Oxide , Strontium , and Thorium combinations that land in our drinking water , agricultural FOOD we eat , and the AIR WE BREATHE and soil we plant food in . Now we have to rely on dual citizen congressman Cook for an avoided answer to these chemicals/ metals poisons being sprayed on us / in us.

don mckinney

free speech is dead on the hidesert star . too many people feel emotionally violated to allow constitutional first amendment rights respected. Just what this man supposedly fought for died before he did . double sad for us .

ASecondTake

Somebody’s tinfoil hat is on to tight!

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