Lance Cpl. Jonathan Gierke and Pfc Zachary Riffle were pronounced dead at the scene after a military truck flipped over on a North Carolina highway.
Published: 2022-01-23 03:27 am
Officials identify teenage Marines killed in NC truck flip

The US military identified two Marines that were killed in a North Carolina tactical vehicle mishap Wednesday.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan Gierke, 19, from Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Pfc Zachary Riffle, 18, from Kingwood, West Virginia, were pronounced dead at the scene after a military truck flipped over on a Jacksonville highway, according to The Marine Times.

The teenage Marines were thrown out of the back of the so-called “7-ton” vehicle when Lance Cpl. Louis Barrera tried to make a turn.

Seventeen service members riding in the back of the truck were injured in the incident, and Barrera was facing two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, according to the outlet.

“A second military vehicle being operated behind the initial vehicle was unable to come to a stop and struck one of the ejected passengers,” officials said in a press release.

Three Marines remained in the hospital in stable condition, while the other injured troops had been discharged Friday, the report said.

Seventeen people were injured in the crash. The driver faces two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

My sincerest heartfelt condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of the Marines who lost their lives or were injured in Wednesday’s vehicle mishap,” Brig. Gen. Forrest Poole III, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, wrote.

“Our commanders, chaplains, and medical providers are diligently supporting our Marines and Sailors during this time,” he added. “We deeply appreciate all of the thoughtful community messages we have received over the past several days.”

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