Former commander of USS John S McCain pleads guilty, retires after deadly collision

A former commander of the USS John S. McCain pleaded guilty Friday to dereliction of duty when the destroyer collided with a commercial tanker, killing 10 sailors and injuring five in the Straits of Singapore last August.

Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez, who has served in the Navy for more than 20 years, witnessed during a special court-martial at the Washington Navy Yard, Stars and Stripes reported.

“I am ultimately responsible and stand accountable, ” Sanchez told. “I will forever question my decisions that contributed to this tragic event.”

Per disciplinary proceedings, Sanchez agreed to retire from service, forfeited $6,000 in wages, and was issued a letter of reprimand.

In this October 5, 2017 photo, a temporary patch is welded to the region damaged by a collision aboard USS John S. McCain. ( REUTERS)

Sanchez claimed responsibility for the deadly crash. He told had failed to set a well-rested, well-trained crew in place to steer the destroyer into the Straits.

The former commandant, who was immediately reassigned after the collision, initially faced negligent murder charges, CBS News reported.

According to Sanchez, an 18 -year-old undertrained helmsman had been navigating the destroyer, known as “Big Bad John, ” leading up to the collision.

The Navy judge, Cmdr. Charles Purnell, who presided over Friday’s court-martial, singled out the failure to navigate the console as the “overarching failure.”

Sanchez recognise his failure to provide a more rigorous educate.

More than a dozen relatives of the fallen crewmembers attended Friday’s hearings, reading impact statements, and calling out the Navy for negligence, Stars and Stripes reported.

“I am haunted by it every day, ” told Karen Doyon, mother of Petty Officer 3 rd Class Dustin Doyon, 26, of Connecticut. “This is a tragedy that should have never happened.”

The USS John S. McCain is named for the father and grandpa of U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III, R-Ariz ., who like the senator had distinguished careers in the Navy.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz .

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

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