Four Canadian military cadets weeks away from graduation died early Friday morning after their car crashed into the St. Lawrence River in Kingston, Ontario, authorities said.
The Royal Military College’s fourth-year cadets drove a dark green car into the river that surrounds the Point Frederick peninsula around 2 a.m., Canada’s National Defense said in a statement.
CBC News captured footage of the vehicle being lifted from the water on Friday, the doors opened and the windshield damaged.
The Canadian National Defense identified the persons in the car as: Jack Hogarth, Andrei Honciu, Broden Murphy and Andrés Salek.
The men, whose ages were not released, were about to graduate and be commissioned as officers in the Canadian Forces in a matter of weeks, Commodore Josée Kurtz, the college’s commander, said at a news conference Friday night. .
Commodore Kurtz said the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service would investigate “what the vehicle was doing and what caused the incident.”
She did not release other details on Friday and did not respond to a call for comment on Saturday. The Royal Military Academy also did not immediately respond to emails asking for comment.
“Those young people and our staff and faculty, we pretty much all know each other,” said Commodore Kurtz, adding that the college has about 1,200 students. “I live here. I see those young people every day. And so four at a time, under such circumstances, it’s difficult.”
Commodore Kurtz said Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Salek were both completing undergraduate degrees in military and strategic studies and planning to become armored officers in the military.
Mr. Honciu and Mr. Murphy were completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Mr Honciu planned to become a logistics officer and Mr Murphy an aerospace controller with the Royal Canadian Air Force, she said.
“As parents, we can only imagine their pain,” said Commodore Kurtz.
Politicians across the country expressed their condolences to the families of the cadets.
Bryan Paterson, the mayor of Kingston, went on to say: Twitter He was “absolutely heartbroken,” and Defense Secretary Anita Anand said in a statement that she expressed her “deep condolences to their families, classmates and loved ones as they mourn such a deep loss, which is felt by our Canadian Armed Forces and Land.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on: Twitter on Friday that “the tragic passing of these young Canadians is a devastating loss.”
“To everyone she knew, we’re here for you,” he said.