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No charges yet for Marine who killed teen crossing the street for school bus

AP photo

No charges have been filed against a Marine who allegedly hit a 16-year-old boy as he walked across the street to the bus early Monday morning.

David Palacio crossed Dawson Cabin Road around 6:40 a.m. to get on Bus 104 headed to Dixon High School when Staff Sgt. Joshua Aaron Block, 26, from Atascosa, Texas allegedly hit him with his black 2009 Honda Civic, said First Sgt. David Oglesby with the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

The sun wasn’t up yet at the time, Oglesby said. The time of day in addition to downloading information from Block’s cell phone and car and video from the school bus will be used to determine what charges, if any, will be filed against Block.

The Highway Patrol is working with the District Attorney’s Office and as of late Monday no charges had been filed against Block.

“The investigation is continuing,” said District Attorney Ernie Lee.

After the crash, Oglesby said Block pulled the car over and based on where he pulled over in relation to the scene he estimated Block was going the posted speed limit of 55 miles-per-hour.

Block was on his way back home at the time, Oglesby said. He’d forgotten his ID at home and returned to get it before going to the gym.

Block stayed on scene throughout the investigation and drove his Honda, with the driver’s side window and front headlight shattered and the rear-view mirror hanging off the side, to the Highway Patrol office after, he added.

“He’s been fully cooperative,” Oglesby said, adding that Block was not injured in the crash.

There were approximately 15 students on the bus at the time, some of whom witnessed the incident, Oglesby said.

Onslow County Schools had a crisis team at Dixon High School early Monday morning, said Public Information Officer Suzie Ulbrich, and the students were their first concern as more information was released about the incident to the public.

Block is an active-duty Marine who joined the on Aug. 28, 2008 and is assigned to the CH-53E/K Detachment of Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1) at Air Station New River, according to Nat Fahy, the Director of Public Affairs for Installations East.

“Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to the Palacio family during this unfortunate time,” Fahy said.

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