West Point cadet dies in vehicle accident during training, more than 20 others injured

A video screen grab shows a light medium tactical vehicle overturned near the Camp Natural Bridge summer military training camp off Route 293, in Cornwall, N.Y., on Thursday, June 6, 2019 .


By CAITLIN M. KENNEY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 7, 2019

WASHINGTON — A West Point cadet died Thursday morning and more than 20 other cadets and soldiers were injured when their military vehicle rolled over as they traveled to a training site in New York, according to the U.S. Military Academy.

Two soldiers were driving 20 cadets in a light medium tactical vehicle to a land navigation training site when the vehicle rolled over, Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, said during a news conference Thursday. The crash took place off Route 293 at about 6:45 a.m. and the cadet was confirmed dead just before 11 a.m., according to West Point officials.

The academy’s Twitter feed reported the incident occurred near the Camp Natural Bridge training site, which is about 8 miles from the West Point campus. The cadets were participating in normal military training.

The 19 cadets and two soldiers injured in the accident were transported to local hospitals. The injuries are not life threatening and range from a face abrasion to a broken arm, according to Col. Brett Venable, the commander of Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point, where some of the injured were treated.

“Today was a tragic day for the West Point community and our United States Army,” Williams said.

The cadets involved in the accident are part of the class of 2020 and will be seniors in the fall, he said.

The soldiers involved in the crash are from Task Force 1-28, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., said Kevin Larson, a spokesman at Fort Stewart, Ga., where the division’s headquarters is based. The soldiers are at West Point to support cadet summer leadership training.

Williams said it was “not common for these vehicles to turn over” and described the area where the accident happened as rough, hilly terrain.

The accident is under investigation, he said, and they are working to notify the deceased’s next of kin.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the accident during his trip to Europe, writing “So sorry to hear about the terrible accident involving our GREAT West Point Cadets. We mourn the loss of life and pray for the injured. God Bless them ALL!”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also commented about the crash, saying “This incident is made all the more heart wrenching as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day today, a day where we remember those who gave their lives for our country.”

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is located along the Hudson River, just more than 50 miles north of New York City.