Soldier dies following collision with armoured vehicle on Salisbury Plain

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British soldiers mount a Warrior armoured vehicle at the Tapa central military training area in Estonia on a NATO exercise in April 2022  (PA)
British soldiers mount a Warrior armoured vehicle at the Tapa central military training area in Estonia on a NATO exercise in April 2022 (PA)

A soldier has died following a collision involving an armoured vehicle on Salisbury Plain.

Emergency services were called to an area of Salisbury Plain, just west of Tidworth, at approximately 10.45am on Tuesday following a report that a man had been involved in a collision with a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle during a routine training exercise.

A 26-year-old man sustained significant head injuries and died at the scene.

He has been identified as a member of 5th Battalion The Rifles.

A Wiltshire Police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time. His family are being supported by a specialist family liaison officer.”

An investigation into the collision is being led by Wiltshire Police alongside the Army and Health and Safety Executive.

Salisbury Plain is a large military training area used by the British Army. Around half of the plain is used by the military and it is also used by Nato allies.

The War Office, the predecessor to the Ministry of Defence, first began buying the land in 1897 and it is ideal for large scale maneouvres.

Live firing exercises take place around 340 days a year and the airspace is also used by the RAF, according to Forces.net.

The Fifth Rifles are based at nearby Bulford. The unit was the last to leave Afghanistan in 2014 and the first to be deployed as part of Nato’s Enhanced Forward plans in Estonia. They have also served in Iraq, Kenya and Belize.

Private Jethro Watson-Pickering, of the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, died during an army training exercise on the Plain in October 2021.

He was part of a crew operating an armoured vehicle near the village of Enford, Wiltshire when the fatality occurred. Reports at the time claimed the vehicle had overturned.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Serious Collision Investigation Team via 101 and quote crime reference number 54220064345.

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