Woman dies as tyre explodes in freak accident

AN AMERICAN Airforce Captain has died after a freak accident where a tyre exploded in the car she was travelling in near the Capital.

Jenna Wilcox, 27, was travelling through Dalkeith with her husband when a tyre being carried in the car exploded.

The US citizen was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary following the incident at 6pm last Saturday but passed away on Thursday night.

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Her husband, Scott, 27, was in the car but only suffered minor injuries.

Yesterday colleagues paid tribute to the US Airforce Captain, who had been stationed in Britain, after a dangerous year-long tour of Afghanistan which saw her awarded a medal for bravery.

Mr Wilcox, who also serves as an Airforce Civil Engineer with the US military, was by his wife's side whilst she was being treated at the Western General, posting on his Facebook page that he was "praying for his wife".

Mrs Wilcox was based at RAF Mildenhall in Sussex where she served as an Airforce Civil Engineer with the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron.

The couple had been holidaying in Scotland and were driving on the town's Edinburgh Road when tragedy struck.

It is thought that they had changed their wheel after it bulged but could not fit the damaged tyre into the boot.

Police said they are investigating the incident, but added that it seemed to be a "tragic accident".

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "Inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of explosion, however this would appear to have been a tragic accident.

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"A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal in due course."

Mrs Wilcox kept a blog of her time in Afghanistan, regularly updating it with the things she saw and her thoughts whilst on tour.

She revealed that she had been awarded a bravery medal for her actions when the convoy she was travelling on was hit by a road-side bomb.

On her blog, Mrs Wilcox wrote: "At a recent awards ceremony all three engineers on the team, including myself, earned an Army Combat Action Badge.

"The ceremony was strange in the fact that people were congratulating me for getting blown up.

"In the military we train and prepare ourselves for combat. So getting blown up or shot at is what we want to do, what we hope to do, what we should do.

"It shows that we are mentally and physically tough to endure such an event and prevail. We are brave and courageous in perilous situations. I was on a convoy that was hit with an IED. It happened in early November and we were on the way back from the mission when one of our trucks took a baby IED.

"I think my heart literally stopped and the next two minutes were the scariest of my life. I kept on waiting for the secondary attack, but thankfully it never came.

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"Luckily, everyone was okay, no injuries, and we only had to replace the tire on the truck.

"But I know that Scott and I are being protected. Too many uncanny things have happened for me not to know that we will be okay."