Documents Reveal Navy Technician Died in Bizarre Accident While on Highly Secretive Mission


A sudden, freak wind storm caused a building collapse that claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman, who was on a secret mission for the U.S. Navy in an undisclosed location in July 2021, according to the Navy Times.

The report was based upon partially redacted documents only recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Navy cryptologic technician Robin Nicole Collins was stationed in Naples, Italy, with the 6th Fleet, but the Navy refused to reveal where she had been deployed at the time of her death, according to the report.

Cryptologic technicians serve as experts in “airborne, shipborne and land-based radar signals,” according to

Three days into the deployment, on July 18, 2021, Collins and her three other team members were resting and making lunch in a building where they had been staying.

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They had opted to stay in the building rather than camping in tents because it had electricity, and it also had “a fence for security, and a metal roof, flooring and walls that appeared to be relatively new,” according to the report.

It was a still, sunny day, but a sudden wind picked up, quickly reaching 90 miles per hour.

“The team saw the roof begin to move and heard the roof cracking, which caused (the chief) to yell for everyone to get out,” the investigator wrote. “As the ceiling cracked, large sections began to fall on the floor.”

The sudden gusts “ripped off the building’s roof, destroyed the chimney, and the perimeter fence was ripped out of the ground (to include 2 feet of cement on fence posts),” the investigators found.

Three team members raced outside, but they realized Collins was not with them. Blocked from re-entering through the door due to debris, the group smashed through a window and climbed inside, where they found Collins buried under five feet of rubble, according to the Navy Times report.

They dug her out and provided CPR for 45 minutes until a helicopter arrived with medical personnel, who pronounced her dead.

An autopsy found her death was due to “mechanical asphyxia due to compression of the chest and abdomen.”

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“The evidence demonstrates that CTT1 Collins’ death was a tragic accident due to unpredictable, sudden and intense weather conditions that caused the roof and chimney of a building to collapse on CTT1 Collins,” the investigator wrote.

“Within the span of minutes, the weather transformed from a calm sunny day to extreme winds, strong enough to tear the roof from a chimney.”

“A boat arrived approximately 5 hours later, and the team departed,” the report said.

Collins grew up in Manchester, Missouri, and attended college at Stetson University, Eastern Florida State and Penn State, where she studied environmental sustainability, according to her obituary.

“Robin proudly served in the United States Navy, which became her family away from home,” the obituary said. “She was so very close to all her coworkers, and they were always there for each other through thick and thin.”

“She was fascinated by other cultures and immersed herself in new environments wherever her adventures took her.”

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.