The names of the two U.S. Marines killed in a tactical vehicle rollover wreck on Wednesday have been released.
Louis Barrera, 19, was driving the vehicle when he attempted to make a right turn onto US 17 from NC 210 near Sneads Ferry when the truck overturned into the median and ejected multiple passengers out of the back of the vehicle, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) said Wednesday night.
According to a release out of Camp Lejeune, 2nd Marine Logistics Group said the two deceased marines are Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jonathan E. Gierke, 19, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Marine Corps Private First Class Zachary W. Riffle, 18, from Kingwood, West Virginia.
Both Lance Cpl. Gierke and Pfc. Riffle were landing support specialists with Combat Logistics Battalion 24, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, and 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to 2nd Marine Logistics Group, both men entered active duty service in March 2021, and both had received the National Defense and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals.
Two patients still remain at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, where they are listed in stable condition, the release said. One other remains at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune where they are also in stable condition.
“All other injured Marines have been discharged from medical care and have returned to their parent commands,” according to the release.
Brig. Gen. Forrest C. Poole III, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, said that his “sincerest heartfelt condolences are extended to the family, friends, and colleagues of the Marines who lost their lives or were injured in Wednesday’s vehicle mishap.”
“Our commanders, chaplains, and medical providers are diligently supporting our Marines and Sailors during this time. We deeply appreciate all of the thoughtful community messages we have received over the past several days.”
All questions pertaining to the ongoing traffic investigation may be referred to 1st Sgt. Christopher Knox, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, [email protected] or 984-349-6577.
Further updates can be found at 2nd Marine Logistics Group’s twitter page at @2ndMLG.
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