17 injured and 2 US Marines killed in military truck rollover
A military truck overturned near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Wednesday, killing two U.S. Marines and injuring 17 others, the State Highway Patrol and Marine Corps reported. The driver was cited for excessive speed in the crash.
The 7-ton vehicle was traveling too fast for the right-hand turn that the driver was trying to make at a highway intersection, causing the truck to roll over on its side, highway patrol Sergeant Christopher Knox told reporters at the scene.
The 17 Marines riding in the rear of the truck were all ejected from the vehicle, and one was struck by a second military vehicle that was following the first and failed to stop in time, Knox said in a statement later.
Both drivers and all the occupants of the two vehicles were based at Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine Corps training facility in Jacksonville, North Carolina, about 120 miles (193 km) southeast of Raleigh, the state capital.
I send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the U.S. Marines who lost their lives in a tragic accident today in Onslow County. We are so proud of our military heroes at Camp Lejeune and across North Carolina. Our prayers go out to them. – RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) January 19, 2022
Two of the Marines involved in the wreck were pronounced dead at the scene, the highway patrol said.
Fifteen others were taken by ambulance to the base hospital at Camp Lejeune, the largest Marine installation on the East Coast, where they were listed in stable condition, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group said in a statement. Two more Marines were flown by helicopter to a hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina, in critical condition, the statement said.
The dead were not identified. The driver of the overturned vehicle, Louis Barrera, 19, from Springfield, Tennessee, was charged with one count of exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, the highway patrol said.
Video footage from the scene following the crash showed clear weather conditions. Knox said the Marines were believed to be going about their “normal work duties” when the crash occurred. The overturned truck was described by the Marines as a “medium tactical vehicle” used primarily for troop and equipment transports.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler)