A Camp Pendleton, California, military policeman was struck and killed early Monday morning while attempting to help distressed motorists on the side of the road after a single vehicle crash, the Marine Corps confirmed.

Lance Cpl. Alberto Lucio, 20, was killed around 3:20 a.m., according to a Tuesday Marine Corps press release.

“Security and Emergency Services Battalion sends our deepest condolences and prayers to Lance Cpl. Lucio’s family,” Col. John W. Black, commanding officer, Security and Emergency Services Battalion, said in the press release. “Lance Cpl. Lucio performed a noble and selfless act by stopping on Interstate 5 to provide critical aid to a person in need. Lance Cpl. Lucio gave his life in the service of others.”

Around 3:22 a.m. a Ford Edge was headed south on Interstate 5, which runs by Camp Pendleton, California, when it lost control and crashed, the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported.

Lucio stopped his vehicle and “attempted to provide assistance to the stranded motorists, when he, along with the disabled vehicle, were struck by an international box truck,” according to Tuesday’s press release.

Lucio was pronounced dead at the scene.

The SUV’s occupants were taken to a local hospital, according to the Union-Tribune.

Lucio “was trying to do the right thing, he was trying to help somebody in need,” said a statement from the California Highway Patrol, reported by CBS 8. “Unfortunately, the freeway traffic was still moving at the time and the box van came and collided into the vehicle.”

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Nicole Pacheco told the San Diego Union-Tribune the driver of the SUV will be booked into jail on suspicion of multiple felony charges once he is released from the hospital.

Lucio, a Smithville, Tennessee, native was assigned to Security and Emergency Services Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, according to the Corps.

His personal awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

“His actions epitomized servant leadership and personified the very best in our emergency services personnel,” Black said in the press release. “Please honor Lance Cpl. Lucio’s memory through your actions, words and deeds.”

Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times.

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