A 19-year-old Marine is facing charges after operating a 7-ton military truck that rolled over on a busy coastal North Carolina highway around 1 p.m. on Wednesday in southern Onslow County, resulting in the deaths of two Marines and injuries to 17 others.
Louis Barrera was driving the tactical vehicle when he attempted to make a right turn onto US 17 from NC 210 near Sneads Ferry when the truck overturned into the median and ejected 17 passengers out of the back of the vehicle, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) said Wednesday night.
“A second military vehicle being operated behind the initial vehicle was unable to come to a stop and struck one of the ejected passengers,” NCSHP said in a news release. “The drivers and occupants of the vehicles are members of the United States Marine Corps operating out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.”
All casualties were active duty service members from 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG), which is under Camp Lejeune’s II Marine Expeditionary Force, the unit announced in a news release.
A total of 15 Marines were transported to the hospital by ground in stable condition, while two were flown to a regional hospital in critical condition, according to the news releases.
Barrera has been charged with one count of exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, NCSHP said.
2nd MLG said the vehicle was a medium tactical vehicle replacement primarily used to transport troops and equipment. The names of the deceased, who were pronounced dead at the scene, will be withheld until 24 hours after next of kin are notified, the unit said.
We are aware of a vehicle rollover in Jacksonville, North Carolina, involving service members with 2nd MLG. We are working closely with @camp_lejeune and Onslow County officials to gather details regarding this incident. We will release more information as it becomes available.
— 2nd Marine Logistics Group (@2ndMLG) January 19, 2022
Wednesday evening, Gov. Roy Cooper published the following statement: “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.”
An investigation is ongoing.
For further updates, follow the 2nd MLG Twitter page.
Reporter Calvin Shomaker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Daily News: 2 Marines killed Camp Lejeune: 17 hurt in fatal vehicle rollover in NC