ARLINGTON, Va. – Thirteen people were killed and another fifty were injured Sunday morning when an M1 Abrams battle tank plowed through the finish line of the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon, making it the first mechanized member of the U.S. Marine Corps to place first in the annual race.
Twenty-nine year old Ben Hurst from Annapolis, Maryland, who participated in the marathon, said the heavily armored Abrams tank passed him shortly after crossing the Key Bridge onto M Street. “I was like ‘what the f***, that’s not fair,'” Hurst told FOX 5 DC. Hurst later said he still supports the troops.
The tank’s operator Lance Corporal Jason Connelly, who suffers from PTSD and incurs frequent blackouts and hallucinations, said the marathon reminded him of Baghdad during the 2003 invasion. “The streets were jam-packed with people,” he said. “At one point I yelled to my crewman, Todd, ‘Man the fifty!’ But then I remembered we’re in Washington, D.C.”
Arlington County police said nine people were killed in Crystal City near 12th Street South and Army Navy Drive when the Abrams tank shelled the Chatpat Truck, a popular Metropolitan-area Indian food truck. Corporal Todd Bennett, who served three consecutive tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, later apologized for the mishap, telling FOX 5 DC he mistook the food truck for “a haji bus.”
Wilson Mosop of Kenya placed second in the marathon, finishing in just under an hour and thirty-seven minutes. Mosop, a second cousin to President Barack Obama, was said to have spent the majority of the race running alongside the M1 Abrams battle tank.