A U.S. Marine was charged after he flipped a tactical vehicle in North Carolina on Wednesday, killing two service members and injured over a dozen others, local officials said.
Louis Barrera, 19, was trying to turn right at an intersection on US 17 where the vehicle flipped into the median throwing 17 passengers onto the street. The accident took place around 1 p.m Wednesday near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, North Carolina State Highway Patrol said in a statement obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Barrera was charged with one count of Exceeding a Safe Speed and two counts of Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle, local officials said in a statement obtained by the DCNF.
Susan & I are praying for the families of the Marines who were tragically killed in an accident at Camp Lejeune, & we are praying for the full recovery of the Marines who were injured.
God Bless our servicemembers who put their lives at risk every day to protect our nation. https://t.co/IGS9KaGtJ8
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) January 19, 2022
“A second military vehicle being operated behind the initial vehicle was unable to come to a stop and struck one of the ejected passengers,” the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said in the statement.
“The drivers and occupants of the vehicles are members of the United States Marine Corps operating out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune,” officials said. “A total of 15 marines were transported to area hospitals by ground, two were air lifted to Vidant Greenville, and two were confirmed deceased at the scene.”
All involved in the accident were active duty service members based out of Camp Lejeune, according to a statement from the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, CNN reported. (RELATED: Prosecutors Ask Court To Rethink 110-Year Sentence For Colorado Truck Driver)
The tactical vehicle involved in the crash was “a medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR) … commonly referred to as a ‘7-ton'” used for troop and transportation purposes, officials told CNN.
Two members were taken to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead, officials said. The additional 15 injured were taken to a Navy hospital and the camp and remain stable.
The identities of the deceased have not yet been released, and the investigation into the incident remains ongoing, officials said.
“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,” Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said on Twitter. “We are so proud of our military heroes at Camp Lejeune and across North Carolina. Our prayers go out to them.”
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