The Nigerian Air Force has stated that Nigeria’s first female combat pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile died after a former classmate of her hit her.
Arotile died at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna on Tuesday. She died less than a year after she was decorated as the first female combatant helicopter pilot.
The 24-year-old Kogi State indigene was said to have been hit by a car driven by a former classmate who wanted to greet her.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Com. Ibikunle Daramola, revealed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
He stated, “Flying Officer Arotile died on July 14, 2020 at the age of 24, when she was inadvertently hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former classmate at the Air Force Secondary School while trying to greet her.
“Before her untimely death, Flying Officer Arotile made significant and outstanding contributions to the war against terrorism, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country, flying several combat missions.”
It was learnt that the unnamed ex-classmate has been detained following the death of the combat helicopter pilot.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while condoling with her family and Nigeria, said Arotile would be missed.