CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (KGTV) — One Navy service member was killed and five other service members were injured in a chain-reaction collision on Interstate 5 early Tuesday near Camp Pendleton.
Just before 7 a.m., five military trucks were traveling in a convoy on southbound I-5, just south of Basilone Road, when for unknown reasons, the convoy began to slow. The slowdown caused a chain-reaction crash.
The collision caused one of the truck trailers to be pushed into the vehicle's cab, causing fatal injuries to the 26-year-old male driver. That driver, a Navy service member, was not publicly identified.
The collision left five other Navy service members injured, including three men in their early 20s and two women in their early 20s. One service member was being treated for severe injuries. The victims were taken to Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and Mission Hospital in Orange County for treatment.
According to the Navy, the trucks were not from Camp Pendleton and the Navy personnel involved were stationed at Naval Base Ventura County. The group was heading to Pendleton to pick up gear that had been used in an exercise at the base.
The Navy released the following statement after the crash:
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 is deeply saddened to confirm a Sailor died in an automobile accident while enroute to Camp Pendleton on the morning of March 2.
Five Sailors were also injured during the accident.
We mourn the loss of our shipmate, our thoughts and prayers are with the Sailor’s family, friends, and coworkers during this difficult time. NMCB-5 is supporting all the service members’ family, friends, and loved ones during this time of grief. Grief counseling services and support are available through the chain of command and our chaplain.
Out of respect for the privacy of all the families, the identity of the deceased will be withheld for 24 hours after next of kin notification. Updates will be sent 24 hours after the next of kin notification is complete.
CHP Oceanside, Camp Pendleton Fire Department, U.S. Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, and U.S. Marine Corps Criminal Investigations responded to the scene of the crash. The two right lanes of southbound I-5 were closed during the investigation, as of 12:30 p.m.