Last Wednesday, my colleague Jennifer Van Laar provided an update about reports of a Marine aircraft crash in southern California:
A military aircraft purportedly carrying “nuclear material” has crashed in Imperial County, CA, about 30 miles north of the Mexican border. Five people were aboard, and officials believe that all five were killed in the crash.
Later, there was this update:
At 3:22 PM Pacific, Fox News Pentagon reporter Liz Friden tweeted that “A Marine Corps spokesperson confirms a 22B Osprey belonging to 3d Marine Aircraft Wing crashed near Glamis, CA today. ‘Contrary to initial reports, there was no nuclear material on board the aircraft,’ the spokesperson says.”
We now know the names of the servicemembers killed in that crash — and one of them has a special connection to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.
Former Dodgers player Steve Sax’s son was among the five Marines killed when their aircraft crashed during a training mission in California on Wednesday.
Capt. John J. Sax, 33, was among the crew that crashed in the desert near Glamis, California.
The Marine Corps identified the four other service members as Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois; Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire; Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming; and Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico.
All five members were based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, officials said.
The Wednesday crash has been one of a rash of military aircraft crashes recently. And on Sunday, the Navy announced that it is placing all non-deployed aircraft in a “safety pause” starting Monday, according to the NY Post:.
The U.S. Navy will start a “safety pause” on Monday for non-deployed aircraft following two crashes in Southern California this month that caused the deaths of a pilot and five Marines, officials announced.
“As a result of recent crashes involving U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, Commander, Naval Air Forces has directed all non-deployed Navy aviation units to conduct a safety pause on June 13 in order to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes,” the Navy said Saturday in a statement.
“In order to maintain the readiness of our force, we must ensure the safety of our people remains one of our top priorities,” it continued. “Deployed units will conduct the safety pause at the earliest possible opportunity.”
The NY Post story notes that the other crash, which took place June 3, involved a Navy training mission in Trona, California, in which Navy Lt. Richard Bullock died.