ACCOUNT

Marine Killed, 14 Others Hospitalized After Accident at Camp Pendleton

Marine Killed, 14 Others Hospitalized After Accident at Camp Pendleton

One Marine is dead after a training accident at Camp Pendleton, California, in which an Amphibious Combat Vehicle rolled over.

Fourteen Marines were injured in the Tuesday night accident, according to the Orange County Register.

All Marines were part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The Marines did not release the names of any Marines involved in the rollover.

The incident took place near Camp Horno on northern end of the base. The vehicle was “making a ground movement during training” when it rolled over on steep terrain at about 6 p.m., the Marines said. according to KSND-TV,

Amphibious Combat Vehicles have a checkered history.

After first being deployed in 2020, their use was paused due to concerns with the towing mechanism of the vehicles.

In July 2022, two accidents involving Amphibious Combat Vehicles led to a stoppage in their use for waterborne operations. After a 22-day pause, the vehicles were put back in use, then taken out of use after another accident.

A 2022 congressional report determined that more U.S. troops were killed by accidents than combat.

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Between 2006 and 2021, according to the report, 32 percent of active-duty military fatalities were due to an accident, according to the Los Angeles Times. Only 14 percent of military deaths took place in combat, the report said.

 


According to a Government Accountability Office investigation, more than 120 soldiers and Marines had been killed between 2011 and July of 2021 in accidents involving non-combat tactical vehicles, according to military.com.

In January, the commander of the Marines’ Assault Amphibian School was fired after an Amphibious Combat Vehicle rolled over in the surf at Camp Pendleton. No one was hurt in the incident.

In 2020, Marine 1st Lt. Hugh Conor McDowell, 24, was killed at Camp Pendleton when the light armored vehicle he was riding in rolled over and fell into a ravine — the second such death in two months at the time.

His parents then wrote an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times demanding better attention to safety.

“Range safety at places like Pendleton, where the terrain is changeable and dangerous, has not been sufficient to keep people safe,” they wrote.

“The risk is heightened by insufficient training of drivers/operators, particularly on off-road driving, resulting in fatal accidents, which the military cavalierly labels ‘mishaps,’” they wrote.

“Conor is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. At that resting place of heroes, we do not want to have to visit the graves of any more young men and women who died in training. It is time for change,” they wrote.


 

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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