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Buses carrying Marines crash

Posted March 5, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Three buses carrying Marines crashed in eastern North Carolina Thursday morning, injuring 14 people, authorities said.

The civilian charter buses crashed at about 7:55 a.m. on U.S. Highway 17 outside Maysville in Jones County, authorities said. Maysville is about halfway between New Bern and Jacksonville.

Marine bus wreck Sky 5: Bus wreck injures Marines, driver

Two of the buses slowed and stopped for traffic as another vehicle was making a left turn off U.S. 17, and the third bus rear-ended the second one, said Capt. Everett Clendenin of the state Highway Patrol. The chain-reaction wreck also involved two SUVs, he said.

One of the bus drivers was critically injured and taken to Craven Regional Hospital in New Bern for treatment.

Fifty-nine Marines and one sailor from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune were on board the buses, headed to Norfolk, Va., for certification exercises, Camp Lejeune spokesman Capt. Clark Carpenter said. The exercises are their final training before they deploy with the Bataan Strike Group this spring, he said.

Thirteen Marines were taken to the naval hospital at Camp Lejeune for treatment of "routine" injuries, Carpenter said. All but two were treated and released by Thursday afternoon.

One Marine was listed as stable at the naval hospital, and one Marine was transferred to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where he was listed as stable.

The Marines who weren't hurt in the wreck boarded other buses to continue on to Norfolk, he said.

U.S. 17 was closed for more than five hours while authorities cleared the wreckage and investigated the accident, Clendenin said.  The highway reopened shortly after 1 p.m.

Troopers charged the driver of the third bus driver, John Tipton, with failure to reduce speed, Clendenin said.

Tipton was driving for Kedt Inc./Altogether Tours, based in Enfield.


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  • illegals--GO HOME Mar 5, 2009

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery for the Marines and the bus driver who was critically injured.

  • Sessy V--V Mar 5, 2009

    Terrible news.......

    hope they ALL recover SOON !

    God Bless ALL of OUR Troops !

  • tnt4kps Mar 5, 2009

    Praying everyone is okay. Marines are tough they will make it through this and the right people will investigate what happened. Sad they had to go through this.
    Stay STRONG Marines!
    Sister of a Fallen Marine~

  • durham_nc Mar 5, 2009

    "Something must have happened in front of the lead bus for all three to crash.. Hope every body comes out alright!"

    Even if the lead bus smacks into a wall, that does not justify an excuse for the other 2 to hit it. They were following too closely if they did not have time to stop.

  • PACKFAN08 Mar 5, 2009

    March on Marines...I hope they will all be ok.

    Semper Fi

  • lilreno is in the wind Mar 5, 2009

    Do they award purple hearts for bus accidents in-country?

    I fail to see any humor in this

  • kcfoxie Mar 5, 2009

    How do you get 450MPG out of a Prius? They barely get a real world of 44.

  • jointheir Mar 5, 2009

    I guess I would have to give 45 car lengths for my prius.. HAHA.. Just joking..

  • Adelinthe Mar 5, 2009

    Praying for them all.

    God bless.


    USMC Sergeant


    SEMPER FI!!!

  • itsnews2me Mar 5, 2009

    Do they award purple hearts for bus accidents in-country?