A crash of two 7-ton trucks during a training exercise Aug. 16 sent 30 Marines to the hospital, the Marine Corps confirmed.
One Marine stayed in the hospital overnight, Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a Marine Corps spokesman, told Military.com, while the other 29 were released the day of the accident. At least one Marine was airlifted out of Twentynine Palms, California.
The incident happened while reserve Marines with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 25 Marines, were participating in a predeployment workup called Integrated Training Exercise 5-19, the outlet reported.
“We were really worried that some of our friends might’ve died,” a Marine told Military.com. “The front ends of the 7-tons were just completely destroyed.”
Earlier in that same exercise a Marine with the unit was shot and "paralyzed from the neck down” during live-fire training, a military safety brief said.
Vehicle accidents are not uncommon in the military. There were 56 incidents in 2018 involving ground tactical vehicles that met the threshold for mishap classes A through D, according to data from the Navy Safety Center.
The Navy’s minimum reporting threshold is an incident that results in $5,000 or more in damages or results in death or injury.
Marine and Navy noncombat-related tactical military vehicle accidents and rollovers are at a ten year low, Marine Corps Times reported in August, and those mishaps also appear to be on a general decline, according to data provided by the Navy Safety Center.
But some members of Congress and families of Marines killed during tactical vehicle accidents are questioning the accuracy of the Marine Corps’ record keeping.
Michael McDowell, the father of Marine Lt. Hugh C. McDowell ― who died May 9 when his light armored vehicle rolled over ― told Marine Corps Times he was “suspicious of what is not included, what is not reported, what criteria for reporting are set out, how wide or specific those criteria are, and so on.”