Ottawa

RMC Kingston cadets killed after vehicle went into waters near school were on verge of graduation

The Department of National Defence says an investigation is underway after four cadets died in an incident involving a vehicle at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont.

Incident involving vehicle happened shortly after 2 a.m. Friday, DND says

From left to right, Officer Cadets Jack Hogarth, Andrei Honciu, Broden Murphy and Andrés Salek were identified as the victims in an incident on the Royal Military College campus in Kingston, Ont., on Friday, April 29, 2022. (Department of National Defence)

The Department of National Defence says an investigation is underway after four cadets at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., each on the verge of graduation, died after their vehicle went into the water on campus early Friday morning.

The college's commanding officer, Commodore Josée Kurtz, confirmed Friday night the families of the deceased had been notified. 

She identified officer cadets Jack Hogarth, Andrei Honciu, Broden Murphy and Andrés Salek as the victims. 

"The entire RMC community is devastated by this tragic loss," said Kurtz.

(CBC)

The incident happened shortly after 2 a.m. Friday on Point Frederick, a peninsula at Canadian Forces Base Kingston that sits between Kingston Harbour and Navy Bay on the St. Lawrence River.

The Royal Military College (RMC) is located on the peninsula, just east of downtown Kingston.

Investigators were seen Friday examining the road and shoreline in boats and on foot. Late Friday afternoon authorities pulled the vehicle the cadets had been in from the water.

Submerged vehicle retrieved from water after deaths of 4 cadets

3 months ago
Duration 0:51
Four cadets from the Royal Military College died after their vehicle fell and sank into the St. Lawrence River Friday.

Frontenac Paramedics said four patients were treated at the scene but none of them were taken to hospital.

"The principal and I extend our deepest condolences to their loved ones," Kurtz said during her prepared remarks. "As parents ourselves, we can only imagine their pain. And we will continue to provide them the support they need in the tough days the weeks ahead."

Kurtz declined to provide details about the incident or type of vehicle involved, citing the integrity of the ongoing investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service. The service is the independent investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police.

Cadets carried flowers at the Royal Military College on Friday. The incident happened early Friday morning. (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

Victims had military careers planned

The four students were completing their Bachelor of Arts degrees. Hogarth and Salek were studying military and strategic studies and were going to become armoured officers in the army.

Honciu was studying business administration and was set to become a logistics officer, and Murphy was specializing in business administration with intentions on becoming an aerospace environment controller in the Royal Canadian Air Force. 

"It's a small university, we have about 1,200 students on campus, so to lose four all at once, those young people, all our staff and faculty, we pretty much all know each other," said Kurtz. 

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson posted on social media Friday saying he was "absolutely heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss." Paterson is an assistant professor at the college in the department of political science and economics.

with files from David Fraser and Guy Quenneville

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