Hero Marine dies in a motorcycle crash
Heroism in Tragedy
SAN DIEGO, CA — Most viewers know Michael Ehline attended MCRDSD as a young Marine recruit. As such, Michael is a motorcycle lawyer, motorcyclist, and avid supporter of all things Marine Corps. So when he heard about the death of the San Diego-based Marine Corps. Drill Instructor Sgt. Gary Wilson’s motorcycle riding death took it especially hard.
“What is so sad,” said Ehline, is:
“He rescued two women in a fiery car crash earlier in the year, and then met his own fate in a Freeway crash on the same motorcycle he used when he rescued those two ladies who certainly would have burned alive.”
DI Sergeant Wilson hailed from Fairfield, Connecticut. After saving the two women, he was recommended for a Navy and Marine Corps Medal. This is the highest non-combat military decoration for heroism awarded by the Department of the U.S. Navy.
The facts relate that Wilson died in a motorcycle accident on the I-15 in Temecula on November 16, 2018, just a few days ago! After he passed away, the award was granted posthumously.
How Did Drill Instructor Sergeant Wilson Earn The Award Commendation?
As discussed, Wilson earned his award for saving two ladies on state Route 163 in Miramar last summer, September 18. Wilson, 33 years old at the time, was operating his motorcycle, Northbound on the San Diego Freeway. The DI approached the scene of a two-car crash, with one vehicle burning and the other under threat of a brush fire.
The brave Marine pulled two women from the desolation at significant risk to himself. Typical of Marines, he ran to the sound of the danger. The good news is that he survived to fight another day. But then he died in a motorcycle crash later. A sad story indeed.
During Wilson’s memorial service, the C/O of the 3d RTBN, USMC, Lt. Col. David Becker, said that Sergeant Wilson had “positively affected thousands of lives.”
Light Colonel Becker went on to say:
“Former President Ronald Reagan once said that some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in this world,” Becker said. “Marines don’t have that problem, and Sergeant Wilson doesn’t have that problem.”
Ooohrah to that, Lt. Colonel Becker!
What Does Sgt? Wilson’s Posthumous Commendation Say?
In part, the citation reads:
“Without regard for his own safety and at great risk to his life from the quickly spreading flames, intense heat, smoke, and the possibility of explosion, Sergeant Wilson broke the passenger side window with his elbow, reached his body into the burning and smoke-filled car, and pulled out the trapped woman,” the citation reads. “Moments later, the car was engulfed in flames. Wilson then returned to the second car. After finding the doors stuck and the woman driver trapped by airbags, and the brush fire encroaching, he pried open the door, pulled out the woman, and carried her to safety.”
“By his courageous and prompt actions in the face of great personal risk, Sgt. Wilson prevented the loss of life, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”
How Can You Donate Money To DI Sergeant Wilson’s Surviving Family?
We are still looking for a Go Fund Me page. But we know you can reach out to The West Coast Drill Instructors Association. They have already donated a brick displaying Wilson’s name to add to the Drill Instructor Monument at the recruit depot near Lindbergh Field. This is near Wilson’s original duty station.
If you cannot find a place to send his family donations, Michael Ehline said he is willing to assist in any way he can to make that happen for them. “Marines help Marines; that’s what we do,“ Ehline said.
He Will Be Missed!
Wilson was an enlisted Marine. He joined the Corps in March 2010. Wilson served in Okinawa, Japan, and at Camp Pendleton. He also has a global war on terrorism ribbon, among others. The Marine was assigned to MCRD as a drill instructor in March 2016. His other awards include two Good Conduct Ribbons, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and a National Defense Service Medal.
He met his end in a motorcycle crash. Marines use motorcycles because they are cheap and easy to store when deployed. But they are very dangerous. So let this be a warning to you young Marines. Even heroes are not exempt from a motorcycle accident. Semper Fidelis Drill Instructor Sergeant Wilson! Oooohrah!
- Late Marine Honored for Lifesaving Acts at Freeway Crash – Times of San Diego.
- Late Marine honored for lifesaving acts at freeway crash – Fox 5 San Diego.