The mother and sister of a new Marine private were killed in a car crash on their way to her East Coast boot camp graduation in late January.
Pvt. Chloe Maples graduated from the Fourth Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island, South Carolina, on Jan. 31, The Island Packet reported.
It was two days before, around 4:30 a.m., that her 57-year-old mother, Melanie Tapper, of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, was killed when her car broke down on I-95 South in Virginia and was then hit by a tractor-trailer from behind, The Sussex Surrey Dispatch reported.
An unnamed 13-year-old girl in the front seat of the vehicle was killed, The Progress-Index reported.
A family friend was in the back seat and was hospitalized after the accident, according to The Post and Courier. The truck driver sustained minor injuries.
The driver was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Pvt. Maples and her family following the recent loss of their loved ones. A host of individuals at various commands and agencies worked to establish a robust support network which will continue to aid Pvt. Maples as she takes the next steps of her Marine Corps journey,” Marine spokesman Capt. Bryan McDonnell said in a statement the Packet.
A GoFundMe campaign raised $29,060 to help the Marine bring the remains of her mother and sister “from Virginia back to Pennsylvania and plan the funerals.”
A viewing and internment is scheduled for Saturday in Philadelphia, according to the Courier.
It was about a year before this accident that Maples lost her father on her birthday, according to a description on the GoFundMe page.