A California Highway Patrol cruiser
A California Highway Patrol cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

Authorities Tuesday publicly identified a Camp Pendleton Marine who was struck and killed by a vehicle as he was aiding the driver of a disabled SUV on Interstate 5 near the northern San Diego County military base where he was stationed.

Alberto Lucio, 20, stopped alongside the southbound side of the freeway in the area of Las Pulgas Road shortly before 3:30 a.m. Monday to assist the stranded driver, who had been involved in a crash a short time earlier, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner‘s Office and the California Highway Patrol.

While he was trying to help the driver — whose SUV was stalled in traffic lanes with its lights off — and his passenger get safely off the roadway, a southbound box truck smashed into the crashed vehicle and hit Lucio. The serviceman died at the scene.

The driver of the SUV and the woman who had been riding in it were hospitalized for treatment of serious injuries, the CHP reported. Their names were not released.

No other injuries were reported.

Lucio, a native of Smithville, Tennessee, was a military policeman with USMC Security and Emergency Services Battalion.

“Lance Corporal Lucio performed a noble and selfless act by stopping on Interstate 5 to provide critical aid to a person in need,” said Col. John Black, commanding officer of the Camp Pendleton-based battalion. “Lance Corporal Lucio gave his life in the service of others. His actions epitomized servant leadership and personified the very best in our emergency-services personnel.”

Lucio’s military awards include a National Defense Service Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Medal.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. December 7, 2021