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Cause of 3 Marines’ sudden deaths revealed

U.S. Marines. (Giancarlo Mollicone/Marine Corps Air Station Miramar)
July 27, 2023

Three Lance Corporals stationed at Camp Lejeune tragically lost their lives to carbon monoxide poisoning on Sunday, as confirmed by local officials in North Carolina.

According to the Pender County Sheriff Office, the service members were discovered in a vehicle at a Speedway gas station in Hampstead, North Carolina. The fallen Marines, identified as Lance Cpl. Tanner J. Kaltenberg, Lance Cpl. Merax C. Dockery, and Lance Cpl. Ivan R. Garcia, were found dead in their vehicle around 9 a.m on Sunday.

All three Marines were motor vehicle operators with the esteemed Combat Logistics Battalion 2, second Marine Logistics Group, reflecting their integral role within the Marine Corps.

On Tuesday, Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler said, “I am saddened by the timeless and tragic death of these three young men, who served our country honorably. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and colleagues during this time.”

READ MORE: 3 US Marines found dead in North Carolina

The incident was discovered when a family member alerted deputies about one of the Marines who failed to make it home to Oklahoma after a planned flight. A search was quickly initiated, only to end in the devastating discovery of the three Marines at the Speedway gas station.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention carbon monoxide, a lethal gas produced when fuels burn, including in vehicle engines, claims the lives of roughly 400 Americans each year.

The deceased Marines involved in the carbon monoxide poisoning incident had each begun their service in recent years. Kaltenberg, age 19, from Madison, Wisconsin, had enlisted in May of 2021; Dockery, age 23, from Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, had enlisted in June of 2020; and Garcia, age 23, from Naples, Florida, had enlisted in July of 2019.

The tragic incident stands as a stark reminder of the unseen risks often faced by those who choose to serve, even in times of relative peace.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.