NATIONAL NEWS

Military: Marine from Michigan killed in rollover of amphibious combat vehicle at California base

Dec 14, 2023, 11:26 AM

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Marine Corps officials on Thursday identified the Marine killed in a training exercise at a California base after the amphibious combat vehicle he was in rolled over earlier this week, sending 14 others to area hospitals.

All but one remains hospitalized and was listed in good condition, officials said Thursday. They did not release details regarding the injuries.

Sgt. Matthew K. Bylski, from Royal Oak, Michigan, died from his injuries sustained when the tactical vehicle rolled over during a ground exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on Tuesday evening, the Marine Corps said in a statement.

“Words fail to express our sorrow at the tragic loss of Sgt. Bylski; an outstanding Marine and a leader within his platoon,” said Col. Sean Dynan, commanding officer of his unit, adding that “the Marines who lived, trained, and learned from Sgt. Bylski, mourn alongside his family and friends.”

Bylski was trained as an Amphibious Combat Vehicle crewman assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was serving as a vehicle commander. He joined the Marine Corps in January 2019 and was awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, along with other medals.

Officials are investigating the cause of the rollover.

The Marines were inside an amphibious combat vehicle, a model that was introduced to replace Vietnam War-era amphibious assault vehicles after one sank off the Southern California coast in 2020, killing eight Marines and one sailor. It was one of the of Marine Corps’ deadliest training accidents of its kind.

A Marine Corps investigation found that inadequate training, shabby maintenance and poor judgment by leaders were to blame for the sinking.

Last year, the U.S. Marine Corps kept the new amphibious combat vehicles — a kind of seafaring tank — out of the water for three months while it investigated why one of the vehicles rolled onto its side in large waves and the other one became disabled. No one was injured in that incident.

The Marines use amphibious vehicles to transport troops and their equipment from Navy ships to land. The armored vehicles outfitted with machine guns and grenade launchers look like tanks as they roll ashore for beach attacks, with Marines running out of them to take up positions.

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Military: Marine from Michigan killed in rollover of amphibious combat vehicle at California base