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One cadet killed in training accident at West Point, 22 others injured

Posted at 2:41 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 15:41:58-04

A West Point cadet was killed and 22 others were injured when their vehicle overturned in a training accident at the U.S. Military Academy on Thursday morning, according to a West Point spokesman.

"One cadet is reported deceased, 20 cadets were injured and two soldiers were injured," said Lt. Col. Chris Ophardt, a spokesman for the U.S. Military Academy.

Army and local first responders at the scene treated the injured near the Camp Natural Bridge training site which is on U.S. Military Academy property, officials said. The injuries ranged from face abrasions to a broken arm and were all non-life threatening.

"They were involved in an LMTV accident that occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m. in the training area off of Route 293," he added. LMTV stands for Light Medium Tactical Vehicle -- a truck used for personnel or equipment transport.

"West Point officials would like to thank local and state emergency responders for their assistance on the scene," said Ophardt.

The accident occurred as the cadets -- who were rising seniors and part of the class of 2020 -- were traveling to a land navigation training site during annual summer training at the Academy, West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams said at an afternoon news conference, calling it a "tragic day" for the West Point community and the U.S. Army.

During the summer months, West Point cadets train in field exercises common throughout the active duty Army. One of the two Army soldiers on the truck was driving -- not a cadet -- when the accident occurred, Williams said.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the "terrible accident" on Thursday, saying, "We mourn the loss of life and pray for the injured. God Bless them ALL!"

"My heart breaks for all those involved in the tragic training accident at West Point this morning," Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., said in a statement. "These courageous cadets and soldiers represent the best of New York State and our country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their bravery in choosing to serve our country and protect our freedoms. 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 Army will not identify the cadet who was killed until 24 hours after next of kin notification.

There are 2,400 cadets currently training at the U.S. Military Academy.