By MICHAEL HILL and TED SHAFFREY undefined
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — A vehicle loaded with West Point cadets on summer training overturned in rough, wooded terrain Thursday, killing one cadet and injuring several others, according to the U.S. Military Academy.
The tactical vehicle operated by two soldiers overturned around 6:45 a.m. as it was headed to a land navigation site as part of standard summer cadet training, said West Point’s superintendent, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams.
The two soldiers were injured along with 19 cadets in the Class of 2020. Williams said none of injuries were life-threatening. An official with the hospital at West Point said injuries included broken arms and facial abrasions.
“It is not common for these vehicles to turn over. It is very rough terrain,” Williams told reporters at the briefing near the accident site Thursday afternoon. “You can see the hills we have here.”
Helicopter footage from WNBC showed a truck flipped over in a wooded area.
Williams said the investigation is continuing and “we don’t know the details of how the accident actually happened.” Academy spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt said it was not clear if all the cadets were aboard the vehicle, as opposed to nearby.
Officials were notifying relatives and they did not release the identity of the cadet who died.
Classes ended at West Point last month, but the academy runs summer military training exercises for cadets in the heavily wooded hills outside the main gates. The rollover occurred on a fire break road as the vehicle was leaving Camp Natural Bridge, where trainees live during the summer, Ophardt said.
West Point is on the Hudson River about 50 miles north of New York City.
It was the second cadet death at West Point this year. Cadet Peter Zhu died in February after a skiing accident. His parents made headlines afterward for their successful legal effort to retrieve his frozen sperm.
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon: “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2019