A woman who died in a motorcycle crash near Newark earlier this week was a decorated member of the Maryland Army National Guard, military officials confirmed Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Aubrey N. Mitsch, 30, served as a health care specialist assigned to Headquarters Company, 29th Combat Aviation Brigade. A resident of Odenton, Md., she worked full-time as an Active Guard/Reserve member at Aberdeen Proving Ground South in Edgewood, Md.

“Staff Sgt. Mitsch was an excellent soldier and brought her big smile to brighten everyone’s day,” Col. Richard Ferguson, commander of the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, said in a prepared statement. “It is a tremendous loss for our team and she will be extremely missed by everyone here. We send our sincere condolences to her family and friends.”

During her career, Mitsch received the Army Commendation medal, Armed Forces Service medal, Humanitarian Service medal, Army Achievement medal, Maryland Adjutant Generals Special Recognition ribbon and more.

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Sunday as Mitsch, 30, was riding a Honda CBR 600 south on Interstate 95 approaching the Biden Welcome Center, according to Cpl. Jason Hatchell, a spokesman for Delaware State Police.

A 29-year-old Woodbury, N.J., woman driving a 2009 Ford Flex merged into the left lane, into the path of the motorcycle. Mitsch swerved in an attempt to avoid a crash, but collided with the left side of the Ford and was thrown from the bike.

Mitsch was taken to Christiana Hospital, where she died. 

The driver of the Ford, who was not identified, was not injured.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information regarding the crash should contact Det. Breen of the Troop 2 Collision Reconstruction Unit by calling 302-365-8486.

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