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Bliss Commander: ‘Our Soldier Did Everything Right’

In a statement Sunday, Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard called the death of 27-year old Michael Paauwe, a Fort Bliss soldier, tragic.

“Our Soldier did everything right, from being properly trained to operate his motorcycle to wearing all required personnel protective equipment, (to) include his helmet which is not required by Texas law,” Pittard said.

Police said 25-year-old Cynthia Dominguez was in a Ford Taurus headed north on Airway north of Viscount Boulevard Thursday evening when she hit the median, crossed into southbound traffic and hit a motorcycle head-on. The motorcyclist, Michael Paauwe, was taken to University Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

Dominguez was charged with intoxicated manslaughter.

Investigators said the motorcycle was cut in half and that Dominguez continued on the wrong side of the road. Th sparks from the motorcycle caused it and the Taurus to catch fire.

A witness who was at a nearby animal hospital ran toward the call when he saw it catch fire and helped Dominguez get out, according to a police complaint obtained by ABC-7. She was the only occupant.

According to court documents, the witness and responding officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on Dominguez’s breath and said she had blood-shot eyes and was stumbling.

After refusing, officers had medical personnel conduct a mandatory blood-draw as she was being checked at Del Sol Medical Center. She was booked into the El Paso County Jail on intoxication manslaughter charges. Dominguez is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Meantime, funeral arrangements are being made for Paauwe, a father of two. The post will hold a memorial service in his honor. Paauwe was an Infantryman assigned to Rear Detachment, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division.

“We are keeping his family, friends and fellow Soldiers in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time,” said Pittard.

MUGSHOTS:El Paso police DWI arrest photos.

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