A 19-year-old Marine has been charged after a U.S. military vehicle that he was allegedly driving crashed in North Carolina on Wednesday, the State Highway Patrol confirmed. Two U.S. Marines died and more than a dozen others were injured, authorities said.
The driver — identified by highway patrol as Louis Barrera of Springfield, Tennessee — has been charged with one count of exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
According to the highway patrol, a 7-ton military vehicle attempted to make a right turn in Onslow County when it overturned into a median just after 1 p.m. Wednesday. The 17 passengers were ejected.
A second military vehicle, which was driving just behind it “was unable to come to a stop and struck one of the ejected passengers,” the highway patrol said.
Two Marines died at the scene of the crash, the highway patrol said. Seventeen Marines were taken to the hospital, including two who were airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. The drivers and passengers of both vehicles came from the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Officials did not identify the victims of the crash.
Although the crash remains under investigation, the highway patrol said it appears the driver of the overturned vehicle was going too fast to make the turn.