West Point officials say one cadet was killed and 22 people were injured when a vehicle they were riding in for summer training overturned this morning.
The U.S. Military Academy says the vehicle overturned on a dirt road around 6:45 a.m. Twenty cadets and two soldiers on the light medium tactical vehicle were injured and taken to local hospitals. Lieutenant Col. Christopher Ophardt could not provide the severity of the injuries or the name of cadet who died. Speaking with WAMC’s Alan Chartock on The Roundtable, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about what he knows.
“I want to leave it to West Point to handle the information but, what we know is that it was not on a municipal or a state road. It was basically on training grounds of West Point. I don’t know what exercise they were conducting but there was an accident,” Cuomo says. “There may, the casualties may be worse than what we have heard thus far. The troopers are helping any way they can. Our EMS is on site. I’ve been speaking with all the local emergency responders. We’re doing everything we can. But it’s an horrific accident These are young people who are dedicating their lives. It’s the anniversary of D-Day, It really is a said, sad, moment and it’s especially poignant on the anniversary of D-Day. But I think it’s going to be worse than what we’ve heard.”
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, whose 18th District includes West Point, expressed grief for the West Point community and Army families impacted by the tragic incident in a statement, saying the loss of a young cadet is heartbreaking. He adds, “While we are still learning more, my staff and I are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the Academy as more details become available.”
The accident occurred near Camp Natural Bridge, an area where cadet summer training takes place. The Village of Highland Falls is a host community for West Point. Joseph D'Onofrio is Highland Falls mayor:
“It actually made me sick because, with sadness because West Point and the Village of Highland Falls are very close,” D’Onofrio says.
One road ends in Highland Falls and starts into West Point.
“Today’s the day of sadness, and it will be for the next few days,” says D’Onofrio. “I’m almost with sadness lost for words, to be honest with you.”
Ophardt says the investigation of the cause of the single-vehicle accident is continuing.