YUMA, Ariz. – A U.S. Marine who was killed when a civilian plane struck his government truck was serving as an escort to a construction crew when the crash happened at an Arizona military base, federal investigators say.
The construction crew was working near a runway at the base March 11, and the Marine was in a truck about 140 feet from the runway, according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report into the plane crash at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and Yuma International Airport.
The Marine Corps has identified the Marine who died as Lance Cpl. Anthony T. DuBeau, 23, a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The pilot and a passenger were not injured.
During takeoff, the plane banked to the left and then to the right, despite the pilot's attempts to regain control, the NTSB said.
The right wing struck the truck, shoving the vehicle about 160 feet, then the plane crashed nearby, the federal agency said. The truck was destroyed, while fire damaged the plane's fuselage.
The preliminary report summarized NTSB investigators' initial findings and what witnesses told them but didn't specify what caused the crash. The agency will issue a final report later.
The construction crew had been preparing a concrete pad next to the runway for installation of an arresting gear system. Those systems use cables on the ground and hooks on the bottom of aircraft to stop them in short distances once they land.
The plane was supporting the U.S. Air Force in a training course for personnel who direct attack aircraft.