USS McCampbell chief dies while on leave in Thailand
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS McCampbell sailor died after sustaining a head injury while on leave in Thailand, 7th Fleet officials confirmed Tuesday.
Chief Petty Officer Rasheed K. Lavigne, 34, died Oct. 31 at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok after being injured Oct. 16, Navy officials said. An investigation into the death is in progress.
Lavigne, a quartermaster, had been riding an all-terrain vehicle when he was ejected and hit his head, Navy officials said.
Lavigne was later put into a medically induced coma. He died surrounded by his family, Navy officials said.
“Rasheed was the type of guy that was very athletic, very strong, very mentally strong,” said Michael Slattery, a friend who grew up with Lavigne in Houston. “He would always stand up for the little guy if he saw someone getting picked on.”
Slattery set up a donation fund at Go Fund Me to help with the immediate costs of Lavigne’s mother flying to Thailand, as well as for his wife and children. The fund had raised $1,140 as of Tuesday.
“He was a like a fifth son to us,” said Catherine Slattery, also of Houston. “I never saw him upset or angry. He was always very positive.”
The USS McCampbell is planning to hold a memorial service for Lavigne next week, Navy officials said Tuesday.