Marine charged in deadly military truck crash that killed two other Marines

Lance Corporal Jonathan Gierke | Private First Class Zachary Riffle
Lance Corporal Jonathan Gierke | Private First Class Zachary Riffle(U.S. Marine Corps)
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 9:14 AM CST
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN/Gray News) – A Marine has been charged in connection with a military truck crash that killed two Marines in North Carolina Wednesday.

Highway Patrol charged 19-year-old Louis Barrera, of Springfield, Tennessee, with one count of exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Troopers say 17 passengers in the back of the 7-ton truck were thrown when the truck was making a right turn onto U.S. 17, lost control, and overturned.

The Marine Corps announced Lance Corporal Jonathan Gierke, 19, from Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Private First Class Zachary W. Riffle, 18, from Kingwood, West Virginia, were both killed. They were both assigned to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, which is based at Camp Lejeune.

The Marine Corps issued the following statement,

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group says in the addition to the two deaths, two Marines were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where they are listed in critical condition, and 15 Marines were taken to Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune and are in stable condition.

Troopers say a second military vehicle was behind the 7-ton truck and could not stop once it crashed, causing it to hit one of the Marines.

Flags across the state will be lowered to half-staff, Friday, in honor of the two marines killed.

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