The U.S. Marine Corps sent a letter of condolences to the residents of University City Wednesday, explaining the cause of the Dec. 8 crash that killed four people was due to mechanical problems that were "compounded by human error."
The letter came from Major General Michael R. Lehnert, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West.
The letter reads in part, "On behalf of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the University city community and especially to those families who lost loved ones and who have suffered greatly as a result of the tragic F/A-18 crash that occurred on December 8th."
In his letter, Lehnert explained that the Marine Corps has been committed to thoroughly investigating the incident and making the findings available to the community. He also admitted that the accident was the result of mechanical problems that were compounded by human error.
"The Marine Corps greatly appreciates the citizens of University City and your support of our Marines and Sailors" he wrote. "We remain committed to serving the needs of the community during this difficult period by providing immediate financial assistance to those families in greatest need; arranging counseling to those needing assistance; and helping families submit their claims to the U.S. Government. We are working with the County Department of Environmental Health on the remediation and will continue to excavate until we have reduced the hydrocarbon levels to the normal range."
Lehnert added that the Marine Corps regrets the accident and is committed to keeping their neighbors and surrounding communities safe.