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Marine from Niagara Falls dies in California accident

NIAGARA FALLS – A young volunteer firefighter from Niagara Falls serving in the Marine Corps was killed in the aftermath of a four-car accident Saturday morning in San Diego, Calif.

Chief Bruce Mack of the Frontier Volunteer Fire Company in Wheatfield confirmed that the victim was Ricky Jones, 20, a Niagara Falls High School graduate who came up through the company’s Youth Program and became a firefighter when he turned 18. He is the son of Niagara Falls Police Detective Daniel Jones.

The California Highway Patrol said Jones was en route to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot with another Marine in a truck which was one of three vehicles that piled up after a car hit a barrier at a freeway interchange and stopped in the middle of westbound Interstate 8 on top of an overpass in the Mission Valley area just after 5 a.m.

Police said that as the two Marines went to help the driver in the car, another vehicle approached. Jones’ fellow Marine jumped off the 20-foot-high overpass to avoid it and suffered minor injuries. Jones was found under the overpass and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities had not determined Sunday night whether Jones also jumped and died from the fall or was struck and thrown by the oncoming vehicle.