A U.S. Marine was charged after flipping a tactical vehicle in North Carolina on Wednesday, killing two service members and injuring over a dozen others, local officials said.
Louis Barrera, 19, was attempting to turn right at an intersection on US 17 when 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, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Barrera was charged with one count of Exceeding a Safe Speed and two counts of Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle.
“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 airlifted to Vidant Greenville, and two were confirmed deceased at the scene.”
Everyone involved in the accident was active duty service members based out of Camp Lejeune, according to a statement from the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
The tactical vehicle involved in the crash was “a medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR) … often referred to as a ‘7-ton’” used for troop and transportation purposes.
Two individuals were taken to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. The 15 injured were taken to a Navy hospital and remain stable.
The identities of the deceased have not yet been released, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“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.”