Senior Airman Michael Anthony Beaton, 26, a member of the 152nd Maintenance Squadron, Nevada Air National Guard, died this week in a boating accident at Pyramid Lake.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Police Department with assistance from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office RAVEN helicopter began a search Monday night after Beaton’s truck was spotted unoccupied near shoreline of Pyramid Lake at Popcorn Beach. Authorities found Beaton’s body Tuesday.
“A tragic accident has taken the life of one of our own,” said Col. Karl Stark, commander of the 152nd Airlift Wing. “The Nevada Air National Guard is a close-knit family and losses such as these are especially difficult. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. The Nevada Air National Guard would like to thank all the first responders and community partners, including the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Pyramid Lake Rangers, Pyramid Lake Fire Rescue/EMS and the individual who initially alerted authorities.”
Beaton’s military awards and decorations include the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Beaton, most recently a resident of Las Vegas, spent four years on active duty with the U.S. Air Force before joining the Nevada Air National Guard on April 11, 2015.
Cause of death determination is pending autopsy from the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Beaton was wearing a lifejacket, tribal police said.
Tribal police are conducting the investigation.