A Newport man died Monday night after his car collided with a military vehicle making a U-turn on U.S. 70 in Newport.
Christian Javier Garcia, 20, of Newport, died at the scene of the crash, which happened around 8:15 p.m. during a heavy rain storm at the intersection of East Chatham Street and U.S. 70.
Garcia, driving a 2005 Saturn, struck a 2002 Oshkosh MK27 military truck and trailer that was driven by Lance Cpl. Joshua Lowery, a Marine from a 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing unit stationed at New River. Garcia’s car was impaled underneath the back end of the truck.
According to a release from the Newport Police Department, Lowery was driving the truck east on U.S. 70 when he missed his turn at Hibbs Road. He continued east on the highway where he attempted to make a U-turn at East Chatham Street. However, the length of the truck and trailer, about 45 feet, was too long to make the turn back onto westbound U.S. 70. Lowery then began to back up the truck and trailer into the eastbound lanes when Garcia’s vehicle, traveling west on U.S. 70, hit the truck.
Rescue crews, working through heavy rain and lightning, needed more than an hour to free Garcia from the wreckage, according to the release. Traffic had to be rerouted around the scene for several hours.
There was no indication from Newport police or Cherry Point officials that Lowery was injured in the crash. Newport police are working with the military and district attorney’s office to determine if Lowery will face any charges for the crash.
First Lt. Hector Alejandro, a spokesman from the Cherry Point Public Affairs Office, said Tuesday that military officials were cooperating with civilian authorities investigating the crash. He said the truck was being driven from Cherry Point to New River, but he had no information on what it was hauling.
“Our deepest condolences and sympathies go out to the family of the victim,” Alejandro said.
Rescue personnel from Newport, Wildwood and Havelock responded to the crash, as did the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and N.C. Highway Patrol.