Marine helicopter mechanic dies after being struck by lightning on flight line

NEW RIVER AIR STATION, NC (WITN) - A Marine helicopter mechanic has died after he was struck by lightning at New River.

The Marine Corps says Corporal Skyler James and another Marine were struck by lightning last Tuesday while working on an Osprey.

James died several days later at UNC, according to a news release. The other Marine was released from the hospital.

The Marine Corps says the two were leaving the flight line at New River after a "lightning within 5 miles" notification was declared.

"Cpl. Skyler James was a hardworking Marine full of work ethic, ability, and drive," said Lt. Col. Stephen Pirrotta, commanding officer of VMM-261. "He was quick to smile and ready to accept any maintenance challenge on the flight line with a demeanor that allowed for easy interaction between his peers and superiors, alike. This was a tragic accident."

James was from Sonoma, California and joined the Marine Corps in 2014.