Marine from SoCal feared killed in crash off Australia coast

- One of three U.S. Marines feared killed in the crash of an Osprey helicopter off the coast of Australia was identified today as a West Covina resident.

Ruben Velasco, 19, was one of three Marines initially considered missing following the Saturday crash of the MV-22 Osprey helicopter. Twenty-three Marines survived the crash, but a search for the missing Marines ultimately proved unsuccessful.

"Uniformed officers came to our house last night to inform us that the search and rescue for our son Ruben Velasco has been called off and is now considered a recovery,'' according to a post by Velasco's family on a page seeking donations for funeral expenses.

According to the post, Velasco was aboard the aircraft when it was returning to its ship, but it ``struck the stern of the ship and crashed into the sea.''

"We celebrated his 19th birthday only a few days ago, which makes his passing even harder,'' according to the family. "Ruben is loved so very deeply and he will be missed by everyone who had the honor of knowing him.''

Stephen Glass, principal of West Covina High School, took to Twitter to express condolences for Velasco, a 2016 graduate of the school.

"Please keep the family of Ruben Velasco ... in your thoughts and prayers,'' Glass wrote.

According to media reports, the other two Marines who died in the crash were Cpl. Nathan Ordway of Kansas and 1st Lt. Benjamin Robert Cross of Maine.

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