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Marines killed in North Carolina crash identified

The two Marines from Camp Lejeune who were killed in a military truck crash in Onslow County have been identified. At least 17 others were hurt.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Marines who were killed in a military truck crash in Onslow County this week have been identified. 

The Marine Corps announced Friday that Lance Corporal Jonathan Gierke, 19, from Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Private First Class Zachary Riffle, 18, from Kingwood, West Virginia, were both killed. They were assigned to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, which is based at Camp Lejeune. 

The crash happened Wednesday at the intersection of U.S. 17 and North Carolina Highway 210, between Verona and Holly Ridge. A 19-year-old woman from Tennessee is facing multiple charges in connection with the crash. 

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Credit: U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Gierke, left, poses for a recruit training graduation photo at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, May 18, 2021, and Pfc. Zachary W. Riffle poses for a recruit training graduation photo at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, May 10, 2021.

Brig. Gen. Forrest C. Poole III, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, issued the following statement: 

"My 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."

In addition to the two Marines who were killed, two others are in critical condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. More than a dozen others are being treated at Camp Lejeune and are in stable condition. 

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