NEW YORK – A Marine in New York City for Fleet Week was hit by a car and killed Thursday as he was returning to his ship, the USS Iwo Jima, berthed at a Hudson River pier.
The accident occurred at around 1 a.m. at 12th Avenue and 49th Street, near where the ship is docked by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
The 22-year-old, who was in uniform, had exited a taxicab with other Marines and was crossing 12th Avenue — also known as the West Side Highway — when he was struck, police said.
His name was withheld until his family could be notified.
The loss was noted during an unrelated ceremony aboard the Iwo Jima later Thursday. Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus signed an agreement to reinstate Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps programs at the university for the first time in 40 years.
"Before I begin with the reason that we're here, I would like to take just a moment and ask you to observe a moment of silence for the Marine that we lost last night, who ... embarked here on Iwo," Mabus said.
"We would also like to express our condolences for the loss of the service member," Bollinger said.
"This is a sad day for the Marine Corps and our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this Marine," Col. Frank Donovan, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., said at a morning briefing near the pier.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg mentioned the accident during an appearance on MSNBC on Thursday morning,.
"Our prayers are with him," he said of the Marine.
The 39-year-old driver pulled over one street away, called 911 and walked back to the accident scene, police said, adding that no charges were filed.
During Fleet Week, U.S. naval ships dock in the city, and sailors are given shore leave to see the sights. It ends on Memorial Day with a flyover honoring American military personnel who lost their lives in service.
Fleet Week festivities kicked off on Wednesday with the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious assault ship, and other military vessels participating in the "Parade of Ships" on the Hudson.
Donovan said the Fleet Week activities would continue as planned.
"This incident, however, will add an underlying sadness to this year's event, but the Marines and sailors remain committed to showcasing the capabilities of today's allied maritime forces."