Share story

From the Associated Press

A 21-year-old Spokane Marine was killed Wednesday in one of the Corps’ deadliest aviation-training accidents in years, the military announced Friday.

Lance Cpl. Nickoulas H. Elliott was among seven Marines identified Friday. All were part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, the West Coast’s largest base.

They were killed on a sprawling desert range near Yuma, Ariz.

Elliott had been in the Marines since May 2009, according to the Spokesman-Review newspaper. He had won the National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the paper reports.

Officials say it could take weeks to determine what caused two helicopters, an AH-1W Cobra and a UH-1 Huey, to crash in midair during a routine exercise Wednesday night, killing all aboard the aircraft. Skies were clear and the weather was mild.