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West Point cadet killed, more than 20 injured in rollover crash

The accident happened Thursday morning near the Camp Natural Bridge training site, the U.S. Military Academy said.
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A West Point cadet was killed and almost two dozen more injured when a military vehicle overturned near a training site Thursday morning.

Those injured in the deadly crash included 20 cadets and two soldiers, a spokesperson for the U.S. Military Academy, also known as West Point, told NBC News.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams declined to identify the cadet who died until family members are notified. The cadets involved in the accident are rising seniors with the class of 2020, he said.

“Today was a tragic day for the West Point community and the U.S Army,” Williams said.

A 2.5 ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle crashed around 6:45 a.m. near the Camp Natural Bridge training site in New York.

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Kevin Larson, a spokesperson for Fort Stewart, an Army post in Georgia, said members of Task Force 1-28 were driving at the time of the crash.

The soldiers were at West Point to train cadets, he said.

The incident happened while the cadets were en route to a training site for an orientation on how to maneuver through the woods and read maps.

Williams said the group was headed to land navigation training when the vehicle rolled over "not that far" from the training site. He said it's not common for the military vehicles to overturn. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.

Injuries ranged from facial abrasions to a broken arm, an official said at Thursday's new conference. They were all taken to local hospitals in conditions that were not life threatening.

The injured were part of an infantry division from Fort Benning, Georgia.

Multiple emergency vehicles responded to the crash. The vehicle was overturned in thick brush, NBC New York said.

The U.S. Military Academy in a tweet asked people to avoid the area.

"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," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

"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," he added.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: "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!"

Image: U.S. Army Soldiers from the New Jersey Army National Guard conduct convoy training while riding in a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle in Lakehurst on May 17, 2018.
U.S. Army Soldiers from the New Jersey Army National Guard conduct convoy training while riding in a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle in Lakehurst on May 17, 2018.Master Sgt. Matt Hecht / U.S. Air National Guard

New York state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt said the crash marked a "tragic day in the 99th Assembly District."

"The death of a West Point Cadet and the injury of cadets and soldiers during a training accident breaks our collective hearts," he said in a statement.

The U.S. Air Force Academy said it was "deeply saddened" to learn that a cadet died and several other people were injured.

"The young men & women who choose the path of service to attend our military academies represent the very best our nation has to offer," the academy said in a tweet.

About 2,600 cadets are still training, according to a West Point spokesman. Those directly impacted by the incident will have a 24 hour stand down to meet with counselors and chaplains.

West Point was founded more than two centuries ago and is located about 50 miles north of New York City.