The overturned truck and M-777 howitzer in Meinfee. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A Marine Corps cargo truck towing a howitzer overturned on southbound Interstate 215 in Menifee Wednesday, rolling down an embankment and into the parking lot of a hardware store, injuring five Marines.

The crash occurred about 12:40 p.m. just south of McCall Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 30,000-pound camouflage Oshkosh truck was hauling an M-777 howitzer when it went out of control and over the side of the freeway, CHP Officer Mike Lassig said.

The rig came to rest in the parking lot of Sun City Hardware, 28250 McCall Blvd., according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

“Five USMC members were riding aboard the vehicle,” Lassig said. “The five service members were triaged by Cal Fire and American Medical Response.”

Two Marines suffered moderate injuries and were taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment. The other three suffered minor injuries and were taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley for further evaluation, Lassig said.

The truck was part of a Marine convoy, but it was unclear where the group had originated and where it was bound.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

There was a fuel spill as a result of the rollover, and a hazardous materials team was dispatched for clean-up operations, which lasted several hours.

The CHP shut down the slow lane and, briefly, the No. 2 lane of southbound Interstate 215 for public safety. A SigAlert was issued at 1 p.m. because of the closure and resulting impacts on traffic.

The slow lane closure was still in effect as of 5:15 p.m.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

City News Service and OnScene.TV contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.