Death of Pennsville Township Marine recruit Dalton Beals likely could have been avoided, report says

PENNSVILLE TWP., N.J. (WPVI) — The mother of a South Jersey Marine recruit killed in 2021 is now sharing the details of the inquest into her son’s death.

Stacie Beals of Pennsville, New Jersey is the mother of 19-year-old Private First Class Dalton Beals, who died on Parris Island, South Carolina.

He died while completing The Crucible, a Marine recruit’s final and most difficult test.

The report states what Beals feared most – that her son’s death was likely avoidable.

The cause of death was hyperthermia, extreme body temperature.

“Where were you when my son was dying? Where were you?” asked Stacie Beals.

It was a difficult conversation for the grieving mother on Wednesday night. She says her son died on the last day of the Crucible.

“We would have gotten a call from him the next day and said, ‘Mom, I’m a Marine.’ Instead there’s a knock on your door, two Marines tell you your son is gone and can’t tell you why,” said Stacie Beals.

The first page of the report stated, “After showing signs of heat injury, recruit Beals left his team’s patrol base alone and was missing for more than 60 minutes.”

Testimonies from other recruits show that Beals was in big trouble the day he died.

The weather conditions that day were reportedly hot, but this was ignored.

SEE ALSO: Marine recruit, 2020 graduate of Pennsville High School, dies during final training exam

According to the report, “Rather than taking due account of the weather conditions, the Recruit Beals team leader intensified training for the Recruit Beals team.”

The report also describes an issue with recruits being able to report issues such as heat injuries to their drill instructor.

“He did not have the maturity, temperament, and leadership skills to be an effective Senior Drill Instructor,” the report said.

Stacie Beals wants to take responsibility for her son’s death.

“There are these responsible people who are still out there. I was told they have desk jobs. They need serious consequences for what happened to my son,” she said.

She wants to prevent it from happening to another recruit.

“Finding out that my son died alone is really hard. When everyone says, ‘You’re never alone. You can’t be left alone. No man is left behind.’ My son was left behind,” Beals said.

When contacted by Action News on Wednesday, the United States Marine Corps said it was inappropriate to speculate about pending litigation at this time.

The report recommends punitive or administrative action against several individuals involved in the case.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Death of Pennsville Township Marine recruit Dalton Beals likely could have been avoided, report says

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