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Two Marines die in Bangor accident

"Memorial services are being planned for two young Marines killed in a rollover accident at about 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 6, at Subase Bangor.The two, both 20 years old, were identified as Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Merkel of Bradley, S.D. and Pfc. Terry E. Page Jr. of Bartlesville, Okla.The focus now is on having a memorial service at the base, the timing is in discussion, said Paul Taylor, public affairs officer for the base. Taylor added that Subase officials also are working out the logistics of having the men's bodies escorted to their hometowns.Use of the vehicle the men were riding in, a V150 armored car, also has been suspended pending an investigation of the incident by Naval Criminal Investigative Services, Taylor said.The men were killed when their vehicle rolled over on them during a turn.When you look at the vehicle you'll see it's designed with two hatches on top, for the driver and the gunner, Taylor said. He said the two men might have had their shoulders and heads out of the hatch when the vehicle flipped, But we can't confirm it until the investigation is completed.Merkel's chest was crushed, and Page suffered head injuries. Both were killed instantly, Taylor said.Three other Marines in the vehicle suffered bumps and bruises.I'm sure the folks doing the investigation of the accident have them to talk to, Taylor said.The men were part of a detachment of 450 Marines assigned to Bangor.They were on routine security patrol of the Stategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPac) on the 7,000-acre base when the accident happened. SWFPac occupies 40 acres in the center of the base, Taylor said.It's their only mission here on Bangor, Taylor said of the Marines.Taylor said Friday's accident was the first on the base involving the V150.The armored car, a popular civilian and military security vehicle, is manufactured by Cadillac. It's 18 feet long, 7 feet wide, weighs 21,800 pounds and carries a crew of five - gunner, driver, commander and two personnel. "

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