CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCN) — During a news conference Friday morning, the U.S. Marine Corps identified the lone Marine who was killed in a “high risk” training exercise at Camp Lejeune Wednesday night as Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lewis, 31, of Warrenton, Virginia.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students and fellow marines, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lewis,” Col. Jeffery Kenny said during a news conference Friday morning.
The Marine Corps said Friday that the group of Marines involved in Wednesday night’s accident was training as part of an anti-terrorism task force.
At the time, about 20 Marines were participating in training that requires them to exit through the back of the helicopter using suspended ropes, according to a news release.
Lewis was the only Marine killed in the hard landing and 11 others were hurt. Two of those hurt remain in the hospital. Lewis was inside the helicopter when he was killed.
Officials would not say Friday how or why the helicopter had a hard landing, but they did say the phrase “hard landing” did not necessarily mean the helicopter crashed.
“As part of our safety investigation, we don’t use the term crash, that’s why we have no definition for it. That’s why we use the term hard landing. Once we investigate, determine what the cause of the mishap was,” said Col. Sean Salene, USMC.
Salene said Lewis’ death was hard on everyone on base.
“We ask that you keep the family of Staff Sgt. Lewis in your thoughts and prayers,” Salene said.
1 killed, 11 others hurt in Camp Lejeune helicopter training
The Associated Press contributed to this article.