CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) — Two U.S. Marines were killed and 17 others were injured when the truck they were riding in overturned Wednesday and ejected them near their base in North Carolina, authorities said.
N.C. State Highway Patrol Lt. Devin Rich told a news conference that the 7-ton (6.3-metric tonne) truck was making a right turn onto a highway about 1 p.m. when it lost control and overturned. Rich said indications were that the truck was traveling “a little too fast” for the turn.
The highway patrol said in a statement Wednesday evening that the truck overturned into the median on U.S. 17. A second military vehicle traveling behind the truck was unable to stop in time and struck one of the ejected passengers, it added.
It wasn’t clear if the person who was hit by the second truck was one of the two killed on the route about 8 miles (12 kilometers) from Camp Lejeune.
All of the Marines were active duty service members with 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune. The group identified the overturned vehicle in a separate news release as a medium tactical vehicle replacement, used primarily for troop and equipment transportation.
Besides the two killed, 15 Marines were taken to the base hospital and two were flown by helicopter to a Wilmington hospital where they were in critical condition, according to a news release from the Marines.
The names of the deceased were being withheld until 24 hours after the notification of next of kin, and the names of the injured were being withheld in accordance with privacy regulations, the news release said.
The patrol said one man has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and exceeding a safe speed.