Dayton Marine among four killed in helicopter crash in California

Published: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 6:41 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 10:26 PM

One of four marines killed in California crash from Dayton

One of four Marines killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday in California was from Dayton, according to the service branch.

Gunnery Sgt. Derik Holley, 33, was a helicopter crew chief aboard the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter that crashed near El Centro, Calif., according to the Marine Corps.

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Holley, who had deployed to Iraq twice, had served in the Marines since 2003, with assignments in Virginia, California and Japan.

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The daytime crash happened about 2:35 p.m. and 15 miles west of El Centro after the helicopter took off from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twenty-nine Palms, the service branch said. The cause was under investigation, officials said.

The Marines were assigned to a squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

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“The hardest part of being a Marine is the tragic loss of life of a fellow brothers-in-arm,” Col. Craig Leflore, a commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 16, said in a statement. “…These ‘Warhorse’ Marines brought joy and laughter to so many around them.:”

Also killed in the crash were: Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, 28, a pilot, of Huntington Valley, Pa.; First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, 27, a pilot, of Pinehurst, N.C.; and Lance Cpl. Joseph Conrad, 24, a crew chief, of Baton Rouge, La.,