JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A 19-year-old Marine from Tennessee was charged in a crash Wednesday that killed two Marines from Camp Lejeune, the North Carolina Highway Patrol said.
Around 1:09 p.m. Wednesday, troopers responded to a crash on U.S. 17 near N.C. 210 in Onslow County. A 7-ton military vehicle tried to turn right from N.C. 210 onto U.S. 17 when it overturned into the median.
The 17 passengers in the back of the vehicle were ejected, NCSHP said.
A second military vehicle behind the first was unable to come to a stop and hit one of the ejected passengers from the first vehicle, a news release said.
Louis Barrera, 19, of Springfield, Tennessee, was charged with exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. NCSHP said he was driving the vehicle that overturned and that speed was a “proximate cause of the collision.”
The drivers and occupants of both vehicles are Marines based out of Camp Lejeune. In all, 15 were taken to the hospital, two were airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, and two died at the scene, NCSHP said.
Officials did not identify the two who died.
Gov. Roy Cooper released the following statement on Twitter: “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.”