Roger Muchnick, a 2008 Staples graduate, was one of seven marines killed in a marine training accident Monday, according to ABC News.
Muchnick, 23, grew up in Westport and played both football and lacrosse while at Staples High School.
“This is a sad day for Westport where Roger grew up,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. “At Staples, he was well known as a popular football and lacrosse player and was well liked by his friends, teachers, and coaches.”
Muchnick was from the 2nd Marine Division based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was conducting live-fire training at the Hawthorne Army Depot 150 miles southeast of Reno, Nevada at about 10 p.m. Monday when a mortar round apparently exploded in a tube, according to ABC News.
Muchnick is the second Staples graduate on active duty with the Marines to die in an accident in little more than three years. Twenty-four-year-old Charles M. Rochlin, who had recently returned home from Iraq, died in a car accident on Greens Farms Road in 2009.
“Our community once again is in shock,” Joseloff said. “Our hearts go out to the Muchnick family and friends. We deeply share their loss.”
Several other Marines were injured in the accident. They are being treated at a hospital in Reno for injuries that include vascular injuries and trauma fractures, according to ABC News.