TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — More Marines from a Southern California base have died while in the United States than overseas at war in the last seven years, including a dozen killed in accidents on the same desert highway, a newspaper investigation showed.

Sixty service members from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms have died in the Middle East since 2007, while 64 have died on American soil from causes including auto crashes, suicide, homicide, training accidents, drownings and illness, the Desert Sun reported Monday.

The biggest number of stateside deaths, 28, came from off-duty vehicle crashes while stationed at the base about an hour’s drive from Palm Springs. A dozen Marines died on Highway 62, a 151-mile route that runs from the Coachella Valley to the Arizona border and takes Marines from the base to the nearest hub for dining, nightlife and shopping.

“Any civilian that gets killed is still just as much of a tragedy, but just to have to go to war and then come back and die at home during peacetime,” said Curtis Kolb, a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy who has investigated many of the crashes, “it just kind of puts it on a different level of tragic situation.”

Extreme speed was listed as a factor in more than half those crashes, and more than a third of the vehicle deaths involved alcohol, according to the newspaper.

Fifteen Marines committed suicide at the base between 2007 and 2012, the paper reported.

Studies have shown Marines are more likely to die in a vehicle crash after recently returning from a deployment. The Center for Naval Analyses found that Marines who had been back from a deployment for three to six months were 60 percent more at risk of dying in a vehicle accident.

The base in Twentynine Palms has reduced the risk of vehicle fatalities by requiring Marines to take defensive driver training. But it still has one of the highest fatal crash rates in the Marine Corps. While off-duty fatal vehicle accidents have been cut in half in the overall Marine Corps since 2007, they have held steady at Twentynine Palms, the newspaper reported.

“Accidents are an unacceptable risk to mission accomplishment. It degrades our effectiveness as a training installation and robs us of our most precious resource – our people,” said Capt. Justin Smith, a base spokesman.