Marine acquitted in vehicle death of Onslow County teenager

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) - An Onslow County jury has found a Marine not guilty in the vehicle death of a teenager earlier this year.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Block was acquitted by a jury of involuntary manslaughter. Jurors did not find him guilty of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle or felony passing of a stopped bus either.

David Palacio was struck when he crossed the road to catch his school bus in front of his house on Dawson Cabin Road in Onslow County. The 16-year-old was a student at Dixon High School.

Isabel Palacio, David's mother, said through a translator following the verdict, "This is not justice, my son is dead. I will never see him again."

The case was placed in the jury's hands around 1:35 p.m.

The Highway Patrol says the stop arm on the bus was extended when the accident happened on March 27.

Testimony began last Tuesday afternoon and on Friday morning, Block took the stand in his defense.


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An Onslow County jury has found a Marine not guilty in the vehicle death of a teenager earlier this year.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Block was acquitted by a jury of involuntary manslaughter as well as misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

David Palacio was struck when he crossed the road to catch his school bus in front of his house on Dawson Cabin Road in Onslow County. The 16-year-old was a student at Dixon High School.

The case was placed in the jury's hands around 1:35 p.m.

The Highway Patrol says the stop arm on the bus was extended when the accident happened on March 27.

Testimony began last Tuesday afternoon and on Friday morning, Block took the stand in his defense.

The Marine charged with killing a high school student at a bus stop earlier this year testified on Friday.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Block is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony passing a stopped school bus causing death.

David Palacio was struck when he crossed the road to catch his school bus in front of his house on Dawson Cabin Road. The 16-year-old was a student at Dixon High School.

The Highway Patrol says the stop arm on the bus was extended when the accident happened on March 27.

Testimony began Tuesday afternoon and on Friday morning, Block took the stand for the first time.

Block said he never saw any red flashing lights. "No sir, I was watching the bus, I was paying attention, full to that bus. I was staring at it making sure, trying to figure out what it was doing."

After the accident Block said he rushed from his car and began performing CPR on David.

Another witness took the stand for the defense the stop sign was only partially out. The prosecution maintains that the stop sign had alredy been fully extended.

The trial continues Monday.

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The trial for a Marine charged for killing a high school student at a bus stop back in March has begun its second day,

Staff Sgt. Joshua Block is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony passing a stopped school bus causing death.

David Palacio was struck when he crossed the road to catch his school bus in front of his house on Dawson Cabin Road. The 16-year-old was a student at Dixon High School.

The Highway Patrol says the stop arm on the bus was extended when the accident happened on March 27.

Testimony began Tuesday afternoon and continued Wednesday.

Master Trooper Sean Spring took the stand and said, "Right where the bus was at, it is a straight stretch of road. There was some debris on the roadway, There was a pool of blood on the roadway."

Witnesses from Onslow County Transportation Services and the Highway Patrol added that the bus involved in the collision met all safety standards.

In addition, the prosecution also shared a video recording. In that video recording the defendant can be heard telling Trooper Spring that he saw the bus' flashing lights -- but didn't know the bus was slowing down -- nor did he see Palacio trying to board the bus.

Block can also be heard telling Highway Patrol that after the accident happened -- he rushed from his vehicle to begin performing CPR on Palacio.

Witnesses for the defense are expected to take the stand Thursday.



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A Marine who was scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday morning on charges he killed a high school student at a bus stop has waived his first court appearance.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Block and his attorney were at the courthouse Wednesday morning, but the attorney said they chose not to appear.

Block was arrested by state troopers Tuesday afternoon and posted bond.

The New River Marine is facing charges after David Palacio was struck when he crossed the road around 6:40 a.m. Monday in front of his house to catch his school bus.

The 16-year-old was a student at Dixon High School.


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A New River Air Station Marine has been charged for killing a high school student at a bus stop Monday morning.

The Highway Patrol says Staff Sgt. Joshua Block was charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony passing a stopped school bus causing death.

David Palacio was struck when he crossed the road around 6:40 a.m. Monday in front of his house to catch his school bus. The 16-year-old was a student at Dixon High School.

Troopers say two adults and some students on the bus witnessed the crash.

Palacio died at Onslow Memorial Hospital.

The 27-year-old Block is expected to make a first court appearance Wednesday morning.


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Troopers say a teenager was struck and killed at a school bus stop in Onslow County.

The accident happened at 6:40 a.m. in front of the boy's home on Dawson Cabin Road near Stillwoood Drive, south of Jacksonville.

The Highway Patrol says 16-year-old David Palacio was struck when he crossed the road to get on the bus. Palacio attended Dixon High School.

The Highway Patrol says the stop arm on the bus was extended when the teen was hit and that the vehicle did stop after the crash.

Troopers say the driver of the car, Staff Sgt. Joshua Block, has not been charged yet. The 26-year-old is stationed at New River Marine Corps Air Station.

"It happens far too much than we'd like to see," 1st. Sgt. David Oglesby said. "Many incidents like this morning could result in tragedy. We routinely get, just reported to our office, about three to five per week where people are not stopping for stopped school buses throughout the county."

Two adults witnessed the accident as well as some students on the bus.

The school system says crisis counselors are at the school this morning.

Palacio died at Onslow Memorial Hospital, according to the Highway Patrol, as they were stabilizing him to be airlifted to Wilmington.