Two Local Marines Identified Among 9 Killed in Training Accident

Aug 4, 2020

U.S. Marines, Sailors aboard USS Somerset conduct search and rescue operations.
Credit Staff Sgt. Kassie McDole/15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The U.S. Marine Corp has now identified the Marines killed during a training accident off the coast of San Diego on July 30th. This includes two Marines from Riverside County.

Among the nine Marines killed are 18-year-old Pfc. Brian Baltierra of Corona and 21-year-old Cpl. Cesar Villanueva of Riverside.

Their unit was on a routine shore-to-ship training exercise when their amphibious assault vehicle started taking on water a half mile from San Clemente Island.

Of the 16-member crew, rescue operations were able to save seven and recover the body of one. The remaining missing eight are now assumed deceased.  On August 2nd, search and rescue was called off and it became a recovery effort.

All amphibious training is suspended while the incident is investigated.