Breaking news about a chain reaction crash on a highway is never good but when it involves the death of a Navy Sailor, it’s much, much worse. One 26-year-old Seabee with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 lost his life instantly. Another sailor “suffered serious injuries.”
More bad news for the military
It seems that California’s Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base is back in the news again after a convoy of Sailors en-route to the base were involved in a fatal chain-reaction pile up.
The incident is under investigation. The name of the deceased sailor is being withheld until the family can be properly notified. Three others were injured, including two women, all in their 20s.
The crash involving the military convoy happened as the unit was headed toward Camp Pendleton on California’s Interstate 5 on Tuesday morning. As related to local news by California Highway Patrol Officer Juan Escobar, “the crash occurred at around 6:50 a.m. and south of Basilone Road,” which is the exit ramp for Camp Pendleton.
“One of the truck trailers was pushed forward into the cab, causing fatal injuries to the driver,” who died at the scene. Another seriously injured sailor was transported along with four others with lesser injuries to Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and Mission Hospital in Orange County.
From what’s been pieced together so far, the entire unit were assigned to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, which operates from Naval Base Ventura County.
News reports suggest they were “traveling from Ventura County to Camp Pendleton to pick up equipment that was used in a field exercise.” Lt. Cmdr. Amber Lewis of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 told that to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Seven ton trucks
Each of the trucks involved in the chain reaction weighed seven tons each. Any physicist will tell you that adds up to an awful lot of energy in an impact. Apparently what happened is the lead vehicle slowed for an unknown reason but the remaining vehicles weren’t able to react in time. It isn’t clear if excessive speed or following too closely were factors in the crash.
In any event, news reports make it clear that one of the trucks collided with the one ahead with such force as to drive the bed of the truck straight through the cab, killing one sailor instantly. It’s unknown to the public at this time if the other seriously injured sailor was in the same vehicle.
A spokesperson for the Navy issued a formal statement to the news. “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.”
This is a totally separate incident from another incident which caused breaking news headlines the same day in Imperial County.
In that unrelated incident, 15 people were killed when an SUV overloaded with 27 occupants slammed into a semi-truck full of gravel.” multiple others were injured.