Marine charged in deadly military truck crash in North Carolina
ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN/Gray News) - A Marine has been charged for the military truck crash that killed two Marines in Onslow County on Wednesday.
Highway Patrol charged 19-year-old Louis Barrera of Springfield, Tennessee, with one count of exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
Troopers say 17 passengers in the back of the 7-ton truck were thrown when the truck was making a right turn onto U.S. 17, lost control, and overturned. The Marines are assigned to the 2nd Marines Logistics Group which is based at Camp Lejeune.
Troopers say a second military vehicle was behind the 7-ton truck and could not stop once it crashed, causing it to hit one of the Marines.
The 2nd Marine Logistics Group says two Marines died, two Marines were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where they are listed in critical condition, and 15 Marines were taken to Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune and are in stable condition.
The accident happened around 1:09 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 17 and Highway 210. That’s between Verona and Holly Ridge.
Highway Patrol says identities of the dead Marines are not currently available as family members are being notified. The cause of the crash is due to the driver, Barrera, going faster than a safe speed for the turn. The investigation is ongoing.
“We’re conducting a thorough investigation involving our reconstruction unit along with our district troopers,” Sgt. Devin Rich of Highway Patrol said. “They’re in the process of doing the measurements needed to obtain a speed or approximate speed they were traveling. We do know it was a little too fast for the right turn they were attempting to make.”
Onslow County sent multiple rescue units to the scene, while Camp Lejeune said that base fire and emergency services provided support. Ambulances also came from Pender and Jones counties.
Troopers say U.S. 17 reopened to traffic some four hours after the crash.
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