LCpl Matthew Adams.jpg

Lance Cpl. Matthew Ryan Adams

A 19-year-old Orem man serving as an active Marine before he died in a head-on car crash in California on Tuesday has been identified.

Officials reported Lance Cpl. Matthew Ryan Adams was an automotive maintenance technician responsible for servicing, inspecting, repairing and maintaining motor transport equipment.

He died at the scene when his vehicle was struck by a truck driving the wrong way on northbound Interstate 5 near Carlsbad, California.

The truck driver, Christian Zurita, 42, also died in the collision, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Latulippe confirmed.

He explained Zurita fled from officers with the Oceanside Police Department trying to initiate a traffic stop around 12:12 a.m.

After following his truck for 10 minutes, officers stopped pursuing when Zurita started driving south on northbound I-5.

Moments later, he crashed into Adams at speeds reaching 80 to 100 mph.

“Our hearts are with the Marines and Sailors of 1st Transportation Support Battalion, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of our Marine,” said Brig. Gen. Bobbi Shea, the 1st Marine Logistics Group commanding general. “We will dedicate all necessary resources to provide help and comfort to those affected by this tragedy.”

Adams enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 2019. He was assigned to the 1st Transportation Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, the press release stated.

He had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War of Terror Service Medal.

A 35-year-old passenger in the truck suffered major but not life-threatening injuries, including a broken leg.

Ashley Stilson covers crime, courts and breaking news for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2556 or astilson@heraldextra.com.

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