A Marine Corps helicopter pilot who lived in the French Valley area near Murrieta was one of the seven Marines killed in a collision of two helicopters during nighttime training, his father said.
James Everett, of Fresno, told the Fresno Bee that his 33-year-old son, Sgt. Justin Avery Everett, was a 10-year Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Iraq and was scheduled to go to Afghanistan in July.
Family members gathered at the father’s Fresno home on Thursday.
The Marine Corps hasn’t released the names of those killed.
James Everett says his son grew up in Fresno and was a wrestler at Reedley High School.
Justin Everett is survived by his wife, a 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.
The AH-1W Cobra and a UH-1 Huey crashed Wednesday night in the California desert.