A Marine died when his combat vehicle rolled over Tuesday at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, the latest in a string of accidental deaths at the base over the last several years.
An amphibious combat vehicle rolled over while “making a ground movement during training” at around 6 p.m., killing one Marine and injuring 14 others in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the unit disclosed in a news release. The injured Marines were taken to local hospitals and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton for evaluation and treatment.
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit has not released the name of the deceased or the names of those injured. The unit declined to comment further on the incident.
The accident came four years after Marine 1st Lt. Hugh Conor McDowell, 24, was killed during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton when his light armored vehicle rolled over and fell into a ravine. One month earlier, another Marine had been killed in a similar rollover at the base.
“Range safety at places like Pendleton, where the terrain is changeable and dangerous, has not been sufficient to keep people safe,” McDowell’s parents, Susan M. Flanigan and Michael H.C. McDowell, wrote in a Times opinion piece in 2020. “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.’”
More U.S. troops are killed by accident than in combat operations, according to a congressional report updated in 2022. Between 2006 and 2021, 32% of active-duty military deaths were due to an accident compared with 14% killed in action.
Tuesday’s incident is under investigation, according to the 15th Expeditionary Unit.