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Probe Finds Combat Vehicle Malfunction Killed Marine

Photo credit: My Fox Atlanta

Lance Cpl. John Cagle

A Marine Corps investigation found Lance Cpl. John Cagle, 19, was killed in September 2011 when the hydraulic seat in his Light Armored Vehicle malfunctioned and crushed his throat, according to documents obtained by the Marine Corps Times.

Those documents show Cagle was found with a “deep indentation, one inch by one inch, on the back of his neck.” Cagle, deployed in Afghanistan, had been in the process of conducting a post-operation check his Light Armored Vehicle when the accident happened.

The most striking part of the investigation, however, is that what happened to Cagle wasn't an anomaly:

21 other Marines with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., told investigators they had seen LAV seats rise quickly and unexpectedly. In some cases, trapped Marines could reach a lever to disengage the seat; in others they had to yell for help, according to witness statements released with the report.

But Marine Corps Systems Command spokeswoman Barb Hamby told the Marine Corps Times the seats in the LAVs are not defective:

“To address this incident, PM-LAV (program manager of the Light Armored Vehicle) has fielded a shield to the lever controls to prevent accidental actuation of the seat mechanism.”

Posted below is Marine Corps video of the Light Armored Vehicle.

Marine Corps video of LAV

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