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Marine killed after civilian jet crashes at Yuma

A Marine was killed Wednesday after a civilian T-59 Hawk jet crashed at the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona.

The aircraft crash "impacted a government vehicle, resulting in a Marine fatality," according to a statement from Marine Corps public affairs said.

The Marine was taken from the vehicle to Yuma Regional Medical Center and was pronounced dead upon arrival. The T-59's pilot and passenger were examined and released by MCAS Yuma's emergency personnel.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Marine we lost in this tragic accident," said Col.onel Ricardo Martinez, commanding officer of MCAS Yuma. "We, at MCAS Yuma, stand ready to provide support to his family."

Marines have shared the airfield with at Yuma as well as civilian aviators have shared the airfield since 1956.

Gen Grosse, a corporate account manager at Yuma International Airport, said the Marine who was killed was overseeing construction vehicles in use near one of the facility's four runways.

The aircraft is owned by a civilian contractor, but Grosse said the airport was instructed to not yet identify the company.

A statement from the airport said the T-59 is used by a contractor to provide close air support training for military personnel working for a joint terminal attack control qualification.

Many other details about the death, including the cause of the crash, the identification of the pilot and passenger, what the jet was doing in the moments before the crash, and the make of the government vehicle that was struck, were not immediately available.

Per government policy, the identity of the Marine who was killed has not been released, pending a 24-hour waiting period after notification of the next of kin.

Immediately after the accident, airport officials contacted federal authorities to alert them of what happened. Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the scene Wednesday evening, Grosse said.

The crash was in a "segregated area" of the airfield and did not impact commercial flights at the airport, she Grosse said.

Marines, The Corps, airport officials, and as well as local emergency response agencies regularly train to respond to accidents at the airport. The most recent session was on March 4, a week before the mishap, and attendees discussed several scenarios and the responsible parties' roles, responsibilities and tasks, Gross said.

The T-59 Hawk is a British, single-engine, advanced jet trainer. Created by aerospace company BAE Systems, it is primarily operated by the Royal Air Force. The Hawk isn't operated by the U.S. military, but the U.S. Navy trains with the T-45 Goshawk, a derivative of the Hawk that can land on aircraft carriers.

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