- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 6, 2019

One cadet from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point died, and 20 cadets and two soldiers were injured Thursday morning in a vehicle accident near the academy in upstate New York, Army officials said.

The accident occurred early Thursday on New York State Route 293 just outside the academy’s main campus, 50 miles north of New York City.

Academy officials said the cadets and soldiers were en route to the Camp National Bridge field training site when the five-ton military cargo truck, known as a light medium tactical vehicle, overturned.

The injuries to the cadets, who were all in their final year at the academy, consisted mainly of lacerations and broken limbs. None of the injured sustained life-threatening injuries, academy spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt said during a press conference Thursday.

Academy officials declined to identify the cadet who died in the accident. The death is the second fatality of a academy cadet this year. Cadet Peter Zhu died in February after injuries suffered during a skiing accident.

“Today was a tragic day for the West Point community and our United States Army,” academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams said during the press conference, adding that the incident is being investigated.

“The cadets were involved in a standard training exercise that occurs as part of their military training program here,” the three-star general said, noting incidents like Thursday’s fatal accident are a consistent challenge for academy officials.

“It is not common for these vehicles to turn over. It is very rough terrain … [but] we don’t know the details of how the accident actually happened,” said Gen. Williams, who also thanked local first responders for their help in treating the injured and evacuating them to area hospitals.

“I mean, this is the United States Army. We’re strong. We are strong here at West Point [and] the community has come together very nicely,” he said.

Condolences for the cadet killed and those injured poured in from the Trump White House, Capitol Hill and the New York State capital in Albany.

“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!” Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday, while in Europe attending D-Day commemoration ceremonies.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the cadets and soldiers for their service in a statement. “These courageous cadets and soldiers represent the best of New York State and our country,” he said.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said the death of the West Point cadet is a stark reminder “of the sacrifices those who serve take on to preserve our freedom and develop the leadership of the world’s greatest military.”

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