Sailor who died after spinning helicopter blade hit him at Camp Pendleton was a flight surgeon
By ERIKA I. RITCHIE | The Orange County Register (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 25, 2018
CAMP PENDLETON — Military officials on Sunday, Feb. 25 identified Navy Lt. James E. Mazzuchelli as the sailor who died following injuries he sustained in a helicopter accident last week.
Mazzuchelli, 32, died early Saturday, Feb. 24 at Scripps La Jolla Medical Facility after he was struck by a spinning UH-1Y Venom rotor blade, Capt. Morgan Frazer said. The incident occurred at 6:10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton,
Mazzuchelli was a flight surgeon assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 267, Marine Aircraft Group 39, stationed at MCAS Camp Pendleton.
“My heart goes out to our sailor’s family as we support them through this difficult time,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, commanding general of 3rd MAW.
Mazzuchelli, of Orange Park, Florida, commissioned in the Navy in June 2010. He previously deployed with HMLA-267 to Japan in 2016 as part of the Unit Deployment Program.
“Lt. James Mazzuchelli was an incredibly talented physician and sailor,” said Col. Matthew Mowery, commanding officer of MAG-39. “His contagious enthusiasm, motivation, and love for the Marines and sailors of HMLA-267 and MAG-39 has been evident in the outpouring of grief at his loss and the support being shown to his family and close friends.
“His willingness to join the Navy and elect to serve faithfully with the Marines should give a sense of pride to all of us who serve our country that we are surrounded by heroes every day. James and his contribution to our Corps will be sorely missed.”
Details on how the accident happened have not been released. An investigation is ongoing.
The accident is the most recent in a rash of non-combat training accidents that have killed or severely injured Marines.
The rate of Marine on-duty training-related mishaps causing injury or death has fluctuated over the years. But the number of ground and aviation mishaps per 100,000 Marines this year is 10.49, up about 60 percent from 2014, according to data from the Naval Safety Center.
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