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Page Updated 01/28/2022

Rollover Crash Leads to Charges – Marines Identify Victims


The deadly rollover accident occurred on North Carolina Highway 210 and U.S. Highway 17 near Camp Lejeune. The facts related that a 7-ton truck called a medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR), carrying 17 Marines wrecked, killing two. Below, we will cover the events, and discuss the benefits of a car crash lawyer in a military car crash case.

How Can a Skilled Vehicle Accident Lawyer Help?

A car accident remains among the tensest situations an individual is likely to encounter during their lifetime.

Not only are the physical and emotional healing periods after a terrible accident lengthy, but future financial recovery can also feel equally insurmountable as victims try and get back on their feet. 

Immediately following a vehicular crash, you should seek medical care for your harm and retain an accomplished lawyer to speak on your behalf. The touted and highly experienced California personal injury lawyers at Ehline Law Firm advocate for victims’ rights against large, Fortune 500 insurers and fight for the financial compensation victims deserve for their severe injuries and losses after a truck crash or another vehicular claim. 

The Scene-of the Rollover Crash

Several minutes after the rollover collision, an additional Marine was arrested.

US Marine, 19, is charged with speeding after flipping a military vehicle and killing two fellow Marines and injuring 17 others: Took right turn ‘a little too fast’

This Marine is charged with killing two troopers and injuring 15 others in a rollover crash. A sworn-in declaration alleges that Barrera had a speed violation and was also charged with aggravated vehicular assault and two other counts. Barrera tried to make a right turn from Highway 210 onto U.S. 17 when the truck overturned onto the median.

Second Military Truck

A second military vehicle following the truck carrying troops struck one of the Marines thrown from the crashed vehicle.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol-Investigation

North Carolina State Highway Patrol investigated the Marine crash. They determined the driver of the 7-ton truck was lance corporal Luis Ponce Barrera age 19, of Springfield, Tennessee. U.S. Marine, 19, is charged with speeding after flipping a military vehicle and killing two fellow Marines. Barrera was charged with one count of exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Deceased Marines-Identified

The Marine Corps. identified the two North Carolina Marines in the deadly rollover crash, saying they had served less than a year joining the Corps. for active duty in March 2021. The two dead service members were identified as Marine Cpl. Jonathan Gierke, 19, and PFC. Zackary Riffle, 18.

1st Lt Kevin Stapleton, Marine Corps spokesman, said the driver was correctly identified, and any questions by reporters about the Corporal or the rollover accident and two counts should be directed to N.C. State Patrol.

Stapleton confirmed Corporal Gierke was from Lawrenceville, Georgia, and PFC Riffle was from Kingwood, West Virginia. The two men who perished in the crash were Battalion 24, landing support specialists with Combat Logistics.

Lt. Stapleton said the Marine Corps. is conducting their own investigation into the collision, separate from the North Carolina State Police investigation.

Commander’s Statement

In a statement, Brigadier-General Forrest C. Poole III, commander general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, gave the two families, friends, and coworkers his heartfelt condolences.

North Carolina Highway Patrol

State Highway Patrol Sgt. Marcus Bethea said that Corporal Luis Barrera was among the 17 Marines transported to local hospitals. He was charged at the hospital by uniform citation.

Bethea said they were investigating the crash and noted that it could be lengthy require extensive approval and could take weeks to complete or for a report to be made available.

Marine Driving-Crash Criminal Charges

The charges against Barrera are not uncommon for Marine drivers of transport vehicles. In 2015 Cpl Ben Guo was driving a 7-ton vehicle that skidded and lost control when taking a turn too fast and crashed into an electric pole. 18 Marines were injured, with some in critical condition, and one Marine was killed.

Washington DC think tank fellow Michael McDowell whose 19-year-old son was killed in a Marine crash at Camp Pendleton on May 9, 2019, believes military leaders need to be held accountable. He thinks the flag officer class set standards on training and safety, and in situations like a deadly and severe injury, they blame down, similar to the Stuart Scheller incident.

What Can We Do to Protect Your Rights in a Vehicle Crash?

In many cases, a vehicular accident’s mortifying health and pecuniary effects present themselves as the dust begins to settle afterward. Sometimes the emotional and physical symptoms occur months or years after a car wreck incident. But you can take some critical steps to protect you or a loved one’s right to total and fair compensation. 

A highly skilled and discerning personal injury lawyer at Ehline Law will guide you in the crucial steps to protect your entitlement to a financial damages award. Our top team will also prepare you for a lucrative lawsuit if settlement negotiations between our lead counsel and the insurance company, or in this case, third parties and even the Veteran’s Administration, fail. 

If you, a friend, or a close loved one has been injured in a Camp Pendleton wreck, Oceanside, or Coronado Island car accident, contact our law office right away to receive a comprehensive case analysis and free consultation with a highly touted Southern personal injury attorney today at (833) LETS-SUE.

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