Parris Island officials identify captain killed in crash

Officials at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island confirmed Tuesday the identity of a Marine captain killed in a fiery single-vehicle crash Sunday on Lady's Island.

Capt. Robert Jenkins, 31, was killed at about 4 a.m. when his 2002 Ford Ranger drove through a sharp curve in the Royal Pines neighborhood. The truck crossed a shallow drainage ditch, struck a tree and burst into flames in the front yard of a home on Francis Marion Circle.

The speed limit on Francis Marion Circle is 30 mph. It was not clear how fast the pickup was traveling at the time of the crash.

Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said an autopsy performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston revealed Jenkins was killed by the impact of the crash and not the fire.

Allen said Jenkins was wearing a seat belt and was the only person in the truck.

Defense Department policy prevented authorities from releasing Jenkins' name until 24 hours after his next of kin had been notified.

Jenkins, a native of Limestone, Tenn., was assigned to the Headquarters and Service Battalion at Parris Island, depot spokesman Lt. Sharon Hyland said.

Hyland said Jenkins was well-liked and served as a liaison between Parris Island and civilian contractors working on base construction projects.

"He was such a nice guy," Hyland said. "When I saw his name, my heart just broke, and I know the hearts of many Marines here broke. You just hate to see this kind of thing."

Jenkins had been stationed at Parris Island for nearly four years, Hyland said.

Jenkins is the second Beaufort Marine to die in a single-vehicle crash this year.

Lance Cpl. Floyd Gregg Cartrette, 21, was killed March 28 when he lost control of his 2002 Ford Ranger and struck several trees along Interstate 95 in Clarendon County. Cartrette was a jet engine mechanic with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.