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R.I. Marine dies in Iraq flood accident

PROVIDENCE -- A 22-year-old Marine from West Warwick was killed in Iraq on Sunday when the truck he was in rolled over during a flash flood. Corporal Brian St. Germain died in the accident in Anbar Province while serving his second tour of duty, the governor's office said yesterday.

Four other Marines also died.

Governor Don Carcieri ordered state flags flown at half-staff until after memorial services are held. ''Corporal St. Germain, along with every man and woman in America's armed forces, deserves our respect and gratitude for his deep commitment to the nation," Carcieri said.

St. Germain graduated from West Warwick High School in 2001. He was described as a hard-working honors student who was an all-state hurdler on the school's track and field team.

''His junior year, they had one of the best track teams ever in West Warwick, and he was a star on that," said William Izzi, the high school's guidance department chairman and one of St. Germain's track coaches. Izzi called St. Germain a ''wonderful boy from a wonderful family."

St. Germain was working in the Marine Corps as a heavy equipment mechanic and a martial arts instructor, according to a website for car enthusiasts, j-body.org. He lists his hobbies and interests as ''working on my truck, 4-wheeling, and shooting stuff."

St. Germain belonged to the First Marine Logistics Group, First Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

At least two other soldiers with Rhode Island ties, Lance Corporal Holly A. Charette of Cranston and Second Lieutenant Matthew Coutu, whose mother lives in North Kingston, have died in Iraq within the past nine months.

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