A Marine Corps staff sergeant from 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines, in North Carolina died in a motorcycle accident during the early morning hours of Oct. 5, the Marine Corps confirmed.
Staff Sgt. Michael R. VanVliet, 36, crashed around 1:20 a.m. Oct. 5 after the motorcycle he was driving swerved off the road and hit a wooden post, the Daily News in Jacksonville, North Carolina, reported.
Police believe the Marine was found shortly after the crash happened, adding that there were not signs of speeding or other factors that could have caused the crash, the Daily News reported.
“3/10 is deeply saddened by this sudden loss of one of our Marines," Maj. Jarod Overton, executive officer, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines, said in a written statement to Marine Corps Times.
“As a loved member of the ‘Saipan’ team, Staff Sgt. VanVliet will truly be missed," Overton wrote. “We understand that this is an even more difficult time for Staff Sgt. VanVliet’s family and our thoughts and prayers go out to them.”
VanVliet enlisted in 2001, according to the Marine Corps, and his awards and decorations include the National Defense Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with two bronze stars, Good Conduct Medal with 1 silver star, Global War on Terror Service Ribbon, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation Medal.