Marine Killed in Vehicle Accident at Mountain Warfare Center

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  • Pfc. Christian Bautista. (Photo courtesy of Bautista family)
    Pfc. Christian Bautista. (Photo courtesy of Bautista family)
  • Pfc. Christian Bautista. (Photo courtesy of Lance Corporal Jose Cuatlacuatl)
    Pfc. Christian Bautista. (Photo courtesy of Lance Corporal Jose Cuatlacuatl)
  • The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo/ Sgt. Sean Callahan)
    The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo/ Sgt. Sean Callahan)

A 21-year-old Marine was killed in a Sunday morning accident in Bridgeport, California.

Pfc. Christian Bautista, who was from Cook County, Illinois, was pronounced dead at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, officials announced Monday. Bautista was serving as a vehicle turret gunner in an M1151 Enhanced Armament Carrier, a new version of the Humvee that features additional armor, at the time of the accident, according to a Marine Corps news release.

Two Marines from Bautista's vehicle attempted to save the private first class before paramedics arrived. He was later pronounced dead at the scene by responding paramedics, the release states.

The accident occurred at about 7:15 a.m. No other Marines were injured, Capt. Steve Washburn, a spokesman for 1st Marine Logistics Group, said.

Related: General: Fort Stewart Soldiers Died when Vehicle Fell from Bridge

"Our primary concern is for the Marine we've lost, his family, friends, and fellow Marines and sailors," Brig. Gen. Roberta Shea, commanding general of 1st Marine Logistics Group, said in a statement. "We have them in our prayers and will exhaust all resources to aid them during this difficult time."

Bautista was a motor vehicle operator with 1st Transportation Support Battalion, which is based at Camp Pendleton in California. He joined the Marine Corps in September 2018 and was assigned to his current unit in May after graduating from Motor Transportation School at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

His unit was at the center for tactical logistics support training. Marine officials said the accident remains under investigation.

"PFC Bautista served as a valued member of our Marine Corps family, and his presence will be deeply missed in the 1st Marine Logistics Group community," Washburn said.

This is at least the seventh on-duty accident involving Marine Corps vehicles this year, six of which have resulted in deaths or injuries.

In April, a 29-year-old Marine was killed and two others injured in a tactical vehicle crash at Camp Pendleton. That same month, a pair of Marines in Japan were hurt when their 7-ton truck struck a wall on an Okinawa highway, sending it down a 30-foot embankment.

In May, a Marine was killed and six others hurt when their light armored vehicle rolled over at Camp Pendleton. Later that month, a Marine died and another was injured when their Humvee rolled off a road in Australia.

Thirty Marines were sent to the hospital in August when 7-ton trucks crashed at Twentynine Palms. And last month, two Marines escaped a heavy equipment transportation vehicle that caught fire on a California highway.

Three soldiers were also killed in a vehicle accident Sunday morning. They were in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at Fort Stewart in Georgia when the vehicle rolled off a bridge and landed upside down in a stream.

The soldiers killed at Fort Stewart were Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Jenkins, 41, of Gainesville, Florida; Cpl. Thomas Walker, 22, of Conneaut, Ohio; and Pfc. Antonio Garcia, 21, of Peoria, Arizona.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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