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The former commander of the USS John S McCain pleads guilty after deadly collision

Marine veteran Alfredo Sanchez, former commander of the USS John S. McCain, pleaded guilty Friday to neglect of duty in connection with a fatal collision in August 2017.

(Reuters)

A former commander of the USS John S. McCain pleaded guilty Friday to neglect of duty as the destroyer collided with a commercial tanker, killing 10 sailors and five wounded in the Streets of Singapore this past August.

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

“I am ultimately responsible and accountable,” Sanchez said. “I will always question my decisions that have contributed to this tragic event.”

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

In this 5 October 2017, picture, a temporary patch is welded to the surface area damaged by a collision, on board of the USS John S. McCain.

(REUTERS)

Sanchez claimed responsibility for the deadly collision. He said had failed to provide a well equipped, well trained crew, instead of to send on the destroyer in the Street.

The former commander, who was immediately assigned after the collision, in the first instance, to face negligent manslaughter charges, CBS News reported.

According to Sanchez, an 18-year-old undertrained helmsman had to navigate by the destroyer, known as “Big Bad John,” in the run-up to the collision.

The Navy judge, Cmdr. Charles Purnell, who chaired Friday’s court-martial, a single of the inability to navigate in the console as the “overall failure.”

Sanchez recognized are not provided with a more intensive training.

More than a dozen family members of the perished crew members attended Friday’s hearings, the reading of impact statements, and the call of the Navy for negligence, Stars and Stripes reported.

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

The USS John S. McCain is named after the father and grandfather of the U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III, R-Ariz., who like the senator had a distinguished career in the Navy.

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

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