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Navy officer killed by spinning helicopter blade at Camp Pendleton is identified

A sailor died Saturday from injuries sustained last week after he was struck by the rear blade of a UH-1Y Venom helicopter similar to one shown here at Lake O’Neil at Camp Pendleton.
(U.S. Marine Corps)

The Navy officer who was injured by a spinning helicopter blade at Camp Pendleton and later died was identified Sunday as a 32-year-old flight surgeon, officials said.

Lt. James E. Mazzuchelli was struck by the helicopter’s rear rotor blade about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday at Camp Pendleton, officials said. The UH-1Y Venom helicopter was on the ground at the time of the accident.

He was rushed to a hospital, but succumbed to his injuries early Saturday.

Mazzuchelli was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 with Marine Aircraft Group 39, and was stationed at the Marine base, officials said.

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The Florida native joined the Navy in June 2010. He deployed to Japan with his squadron in 2016.

“Lt. James Mazzuchelli was an incredibly talented physician and sailor,” said Col. Matthew Mowery, commanding officer of MAG-39. “His contagious enthusiasm, motivation and love for the Marines and sailors of HMLA-267 and MAG-39 has been evident in the outpouring of grief at his loss and the support being shown to his family and close friends.”

The incident is under investigation.

Winkley writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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UPDATES:

6 p.m.: This article was updated with the identity of the Navy officer who was killed.

This article was originally posted at 7:20 a.m.


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