4 cadets dead after incident at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont.

4 cadets dead after incident at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont.

by Sue Jones
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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.

Caf Fatal Incident 20220429

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

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.

The college’s 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.

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.

Investigators were seen Friday examining the road and shoreline in boats and on foot. Late Friday afternoon, the vehicle that carried the cadets was seen being pulled from the water by authorities.

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

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

Vehicle In Fatal Incident At Royal Military College In Kingston

Authorities pulled this vehicle from the St. Lawrence River late Friday afternoon. Four cadets from the Royal Military College died after the vehicle became submerged. (CBC)

“This loss is felt across the RMC community and we extend our deepest condolences to all our members, their families, and their friends during this difficult time,” a spokesperson for the Department of National Defence wrote in an email Friday.

“RMC’s first priority is to ensure our Naval and Officer Cadets, staff, faculty, and families are cared for and supported.”

Independent arm of military police investigating

The department said the process of notifying next of kin is ongoing, and “therefore no further information will be made available at this time.”

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is investigating the incident, according to Kingston Police, who are assisting.

The investigation service is the independent investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police.

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.

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. 

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Submerged vehicle retrieved from water after deaths of 4 cadets

Four cadets from the Royal Military College died after their vehicle fell and sank into the St. Lawrence River Friday. 0:50

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