Marine dies in rollover crash at Camp Pendleton

Posted at 7:37 PM, Sep 11, 2015

One Marine was killed and 18 others injured Thursday afternoon in a single-vehicle rollover crash during routine training at Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

10News learned the crash happened as a massive training exercise called Dawn Blitz was winding down.

In a news release Friday, First Lt. Colleen McFadden said that crash involved a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR), commonly known as a 7-Ton truck.

Of the injured Marines, six were in critical condition, eight were stable and four had been released from the hospital. A close friend told 10News they were devastated by the incident. Those who were not being treated stayed at the hospital to support their Marine family. The injured were taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital, Palomar Medical Center, Mission Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital and Tri-City Medical Center.

The Marine who was killed was from the 1st Marine Division, and that person's name will not be released until 24 hours after relatives are notified, McFadden said.

A source told 10News the Marines were traveling down a slope on Basilone Road just north of Las Pulgas Road when the crash occurred. The area is commonly called "Dead Man's Curve" because it is such a tight turn.

Officials are investigating, but the source said the truck clipped the rail and rolled. The crash became worse as a line of cars started barreling into them from behind.

A family member told 10News reporter Hannah Mullins that some were crushed. Amid that horror, the Marines scrambled to save each other. Now, they are hoping and praying the doctors can save their Marine brothers.

Major General Daniel J. O'Donohue, commanding general of 1st Marine Division, gave the following statement:

"After this tragic training accident, our first concern is for the welfare of our deceased Marine, the injured and their families. They are held close in our hearts and prayers. Our commanders, chaplains, medical personnel and families and surrounding communities have come together in support. We deeply appreciate all the support and sympathy that we have received for this tragic loss."

Camp Pendleton, a vast seaside base north of San Diego, is the major West Coast outpost for the U.S. Marine Corps.

In November 2013, four Marines were killed there while clearing explosives in a Camp Pendleton training area.