Fox News has reported that two United States Marines are dead following a traffic accident in North Carolina.
It quoted State Highway Patrol Sgt. Devin Rich as saying that roughly a dozen people were treated at the scene while two were transported to local hospitals via airlift.
State police say accident involved two military vehicles
The law enforcement agency provided a statement to Fox News explaining that a 7-ton military vehicle flipped over as it was attempting a turn onto U.S. 17 from Highway 210 in Jacksonville.
This action resulted in some 17 passengers who were riding in the vehicle being ejected out onto the median of U.S. 17. One of the ejected passengers was then struck by a second military vehicle that was unable to stop in time.
Fox News stated that all of those involved in the collision were personnel stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The names of both deceased individuals have yet to be released.
A North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesperson told the network that the first vehicle’s driver has been 19-year-old Louis Barrera.
The spokesperson added that Barrera, who hails from Springfield, Tennessee, is now facing a charge of speeding along with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
Elected officials offer their condolences
For his part, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper addressed the tragedy in a Facebook post, saying, “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,” the governor stressed. “Our prayers go out to them.”
The city of Jacksonville’s official Twitter account put out a similar message, declaring, “Our deepest condolences go out to the families & friends of the Marines who died in the tragic vehicle accident today. Our prayers also go out to those fighting for their lives.”
North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis spoke up as well, tweeting, “God Bless our servicemembers who put their lives at risk every day to protect our nation.”
Tillis added that he and his wife “are praying for the families of the Marines who were tragically killed in an accident at Camp Lejeune.”