The Navy has identified two sailors killed in a horrific motorcycle crash on June 27 near Camp Pendleton, California as Petty Officers 1st Class Stephen Jermaine Williams and Jess Lee Davis. A third sailor on a third motorcycle was injured in the crash.

Williams, 37, was assigned to Southwest Regional Maintenance Center in San Diego, according to the Navy. Davis, 38, was a crew member on board the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria.

The third sailor, a 37-year-old chief petty officer, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the motorcycle crash, according to the Navy. 

Motorcycle accidents have killed 18 sailors since October 2023, along with nine Marines, and nine Department of the Air Force personnel, according to safety data kept by each service. Statistics on Army deaths in motorcycle crashes were not immediately available.

“The Navy family mourns the loss of two shipmates from Southwest Regional Maintenance Center San Diego and USS Alexandria in Thursday’s traffic accident,” a statement from Southwest Regional Maintenance Center San Diego says. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sailors’ families, friends, and coworkers, and we ask they be afforded privacy during this difficult time.”

A total of four people were killed in the crash, which happened around 3 a.m. near Las Pulgas Road, according to the California Highway Patrol. It began when a man driving a Jeep Wrangler struck the center media guardrail on Interstate 5. The jeep bounced back into southbound traffic lanes and was hit by a Mercedes van, which overturned.

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Four motorcyclists hit the disabled vehicles and were thrown from their bikes, a highway patrol news release says. A tractor trailer subsequently hit one of the disabled motorcycles. Three of the four motorcyclists died at the scene while the driver of the Jeep died three days later at a local hospital.

The passenger in the Jeep, a 50-year-old man from Los Angeles, remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. The others injured in the crash suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police do not suspect that drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

Williams enlisted in the Navy in August 2006. He was a Damage Controlman 1st class at the time of his death. His previous assignments include serving aboard the dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor, the destroyer USS Dewey, and at the Navy Consolidated Brig in Miramar, California, according to his service record, which was provided to Task & Purpose.

His military awards include the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification, Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist qualification, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Meritorious Unit Commendation, three Good Conduct Medals, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Davis joined the Navy in June 2005 and served as a Culinary Specialist Submarines 1st Class aboard the Alexandria, according to his service record. He previously served on the ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee’s Blue and Gold Crews. His military awards include the Enlisted Submarine Warfare Specialist qualification, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, and the National Defense Service Medal.

The Alexandria has issued a statement confirming that Davis was killed on June 27, adding, “We deeply mourn this loss.”

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