Death of Marine hits hard at home

Eagle Point resident killed in accident

A Marine from Eagle Point who died Monday in a training exercise in California was remembered by friends, family and his former Scout troop as an "amazing person" and "a perfect young man."

Cpl. Nicholas Sell, 21, was killed in a vehicle accident at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., officials said. He died from burns suffered when an amphibious assault vehicle caught fire, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The accident occurred shortly before 11:20 a.m. Monday in the desert about 130 miles east of Los Angeles. Four others were injured in the accident, with three of the four treated and released from the base hospital. The fourth was in stable condition at Arrowhead Medical Center Wednesday.

Sell served in the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. His personal awards include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Sell enlisted in the Marine Corps on May 3, 2010.

Sell was a noted Eagle Scout who served with Boy Scout Troop 48 out of Eagle Point, according to the group's website.

"(Sell) was an amazing person full of life," the troop posted on its website. "Thank you Nick for being a true leader and good example for our youth to look up to."

Sell was "a perfect young man," his great-uncle, Robert McLaughlin of Grants Pass, told the Grants Pass Daily Courier. "He was an Eagle Scout."

"I just have to look back to the number of times when we'd go on campouts, and how much fun we had there with him," added Sell's great-aunt, Melvina McLaughlin. "He was always just, going, going, going, always very active.

Sell's family in Eagle Point expressed a desire for privacy in their time of grief when contacted by the Mail Tribune on Wednesday.

Retired Eagle Point city planner Bunny Lincoln said Sell was a valued resident of the town and would be missed.

"He, like his parents and siblings, was actively committed to making a positive difference in Eagle Point, Southern Oregon and the world," Lincoln said. "Nick could always be counted upon to help whenever he was needed in our community."

Lincoln said Sell was a mentor to other Boy Scouts and a volunteer at various city services.

In a Facebook post, Lincoln described Sell as "an absolutely WONDERFUL young man."

"I have known him all his life, as has almost everyone for miles around," she wrote. "An Eagle Scout, from a family who are totally dedicated to serving others, it is incomprehensible to think that he is gone forever."

Sell is survived by his parents, Randy and Kathy, and brothers Jeff and Beau Macy.

His cousin Colleen, from Carlsbad, Calif., told "Nick was a selfless and loving person. Everyone called him brother. He was always volunteering to help with anything or be there for anyone."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email

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