Marines Mourn Death of Cannoneer, Killed in Georgia

January 6, 2023Noelle Wiehe
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US Marine Corps Cpl. Selwyn Gary Clarke Jr., 21, died Nov. 20, 2022, on Interstate 20 eastbound near Turner Hill Road in Dekalb County, Georgia. Authorities believe he was struck by a vehicle. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

A civilian driver struck and killed a Marine field artillery cannoneer as he was helping a trapped woman exit her rumpled vehicle.

First responders found Cpl. Selwyn Gary "G" Clarke Jr., 21, dead at about 2:12 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2022, on Interstate 20 eastbound near Turner Hill Road in Dekalb County, Georgia.

Dekalb County Police investigators believe the tragedy began with Clarke and his mother, Nyssa, helping a trapped woman out of her vehicle following a minor accident on the roadside between Lithonia and Conyers.

Then another vehicle traveling down the interstate hit them, killing Cpl. Clarke and sending his mom and the female driver they were extricating to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

"The Marine Corps and our nation mourn the loss of Cpl. Clarke, a selfless and courageous Marine who exemplified our core values of honor, courage, and commitment,” said Marine Corps officials in a prepared statement emailed to Coffee or Die Magazine. “Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family during this difficult time. Cpl. Clarke's legacy will live on within the Corps as a symbol of bravery and dedication."

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A cannoneer with Hotel Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, opens the breach of a M777 howitzer after firing a round at Adazi Training Area, Latvia, March 2, 2019, during exercise Dynamic Front 19. US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Niles Lee.

Selwyn Gary “G” Clarke, Jr. was born on Aug. 27, 2001.

He enlisted in the US Marine Corps on June 10, 2019, out of Conyers.

The reservist earned his noncommissioned officer blood stripes on April 1, 2021, according to Adam Bashaw, a spokesperson for Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces South.

Clarke served as a field artillery cannoneer with Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He had yet to deploy overseas.

Part of the combat arms section of the Corps, field artillery cannoneers operate howitzers, providing uninterrupted indirect fire support to Marine infantry and armor units.

Clarke's family held a memorial service after his cremation on Dec. 3 at Gregory B. Levett and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory’s Rockdale Chapel in Conyers.

Read Next: Marine Col. Walter Cunningham, NASA Astronaut, Dead at 90

Noelle Wiehe
Noelle Wiehe

Noelle is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die through a fellowship from Military Veterans in Journalism. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and interned with the US Army Cadet Command. Noelle also worked as a civilian journalist covering several units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning, before she joined the military as a public affairs specialist.

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