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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marines have seen a marked increase in the number of motor vehicle fatalities in the first few weeks of this fiscal year.

Sixteen Marines have been killed in motor vehicle incidents between Oct. 1 and Nov. 28, up from 11 fatalities during the same time period last fiscal year, according to the Naval Safety Center.

Of the Marines killed since Oct. 1, nine were killed in their own vehicles, four died on motorcycles, two were killed in military vehicles and one pedestrian was struck by a vehicle, according to the safety center.

Half of those killed were under the command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, with three motorcycle deaths, three personal vehicle deaths, one military vehicle death and one pedestrian death.

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic has seen two personal vehicle deaths, one motorcycle death and one military vehicle death; Headquarters Marine Corps, Mobilization Command, Training and Education Command and Marine Corps Combat Development Command each has seen one personal vehicle death.

One fatal military vehicle crash happened in Iraq when a seven-ton truck rolled over, according to the safety center. They could not say to which command that Marine belonged.

A Marine Corps spokeswoman attributed the spike in deaths to the rash of motorcycle crashes and noted that overall, deaths involving motor vehicles have been decreasing for several years.

The Marines are looking into ways to emphasize motorcycle safety, such as forming motorcycle clubs on bases, the spokeswoman said.

No information was available Monday on whether alcohol or other factors may have played a role in the fatalities, the spokeswoman said.

Last year, seven Marines were killed in their own vehicles, one on a motorcycle and three in military vehicles, according to the safety center.

Of those, six Marines were under the command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific; three were under U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic; and two were under Marine Corps Combat Development Center, according to the safety center.


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