A Marine tiltrotor mechanic has died after last week being struck by lightning, according to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
Cpl. Skyler James and another Marine were struck by lightning on July 11 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, the wing announced Monday in a news release. The other Marine was treated at the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital and released.
James, of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, was taken to the University of North Carolina Health Center, where he was declared brain-dead on Sunday, said wing spokesman Capt. John Roberts.
"Cpl. Skyler James was a hardworking Marine full of work ethic, ability, and drive," his squadron commander Lt. Col. Stephen Pirrotta said in Monday's news release. "He was quick to smile and ready to accept any maintenance challenge on the flight line with a demeanor that allowed for easy interaction between his peers and superiors, alike."
Both James and the other Marine injured had been working on an MV-22B Osprey prior to the lightning strike, the news release says. Marines were leaving the flight line when the incident happened: They had just received a notification of "lightning within 5 miles."
Originally from Sonoma, California, James joined the Marine Corps in March 2014 and was promoted to corporal in October, the news release says. His military awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, Sea Service Deployment ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service medal and National Defense Service medal.
"This was a tragic accident," Pirrotta said. "Corporal James will be sorely missed by the Raging Bulls. His family is in our thoughts and prayers."