Young Marine Killed While Attempting to Help at Scene of Car Crash

A young Marine from Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, died recently while attempting to offer aid to motorists along Interstate 5, near Camp Pendleton. Lance Cpl. Alberto Lucio, a native of Smithville, Tennessee, was serving with the Security and Emergency Services Battalion at Pendleton at the time of his death. The Security and Emergency Services Bn. at Camp Pendleton includes law enforcement and security personnel, as well as fire protection, emergency and medical response personnel, and temporary detention support personnel.

LCpl. Lucio, 20, came across the scene of an accident along I-5 at around 3:20 a.m. The driver of an SUV had lost control and crashed on the side of the highway. When he saw the situation, without hesitation, Lucio did what he was trained to do as a Marine and as a member of the Security and Emergency Services Bn.; he stopped his own vehicle and went to offer potential aid to the occupants of the crashed vehicle.

Photo: Facebook/The Legal Advocate – California

According to the California Highway Patrol, LCpl. Lucio, “attempted to provide assistance to the stranded motorists, when he, along with the disabled vehicle were struck by an international box truck.” Tragically, Lucio was killed instantly, but the occupants of the stranded vehicle were taken to a hospital.

Tragedy is part of the human condition. In its classical sense, it involves a hero who makes a decision, and, as with all decisions, consequences, often unseen, naturally follow. What makes a tragic hero is the nobility with which he or she conducts him or herself in the circumstances they encounter. LCpl. Lucio was a trained Marine. By his actions in this incident, he showed that he had the heart and soul of a Marine. A Marine is trained to go where others fear to go and to do what is necessary.

Photo: Facebook/619 News Media

Lucio saw people in need and he responded. That’s what a Marine and/or somebody trained in emergency services does. It is so ingrained in them that they respond out of habit. They are aware of the potential dangers, but they set those potentialities aside, and they act for the good of others.

This was recognized by the Commanding Officer of the Security and Emergency Services Bn., Col John W. Black, in a statement given to the press concerning LCpl. Lucio’s death: “LCpl. Lucio performed a noble and selfless act by stopping on Interstate 5 to provide critical aid to a person in need. LCpl. Lucio gave his life in the service of others.”

Photo: Facebook/619 News Media

This tragedy, as difficult as it is, is made noble and honorable because of LCpl. Lucio’s unselfish and courageous effort on behalf of people he did not know. That is the raison d’etre of a Marine; unselfish service. The “hero” in the classical tradition serves as a model to us all, showing us that heroic behavior is possible for all of us. LCpl. Lucio’s action did just that; it modeled for all of us what is most noble and good in our universal human nature.

This kind of behavior is what we can and should always aspire to in our own daily lives. What would the world be like if…?

The Veterans Site offers its sincerest condolences to the family of LCpl. Alberto Lucio. His death in service to others, though tragic, honors his family, the Marine Corps, and our shared humanity. Rest in Peace, good Marine. Semper Fi!

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