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Military investigates fatal training crash

By: The Canadian Press

 | May 22, 2014 - 3:16 PM |
OTTAWA - The type of Canadian Forces vehicle that was involved in a deadly rollover in Alberta is in the midst of a $1-billion upgrade aimed at improving its stability, among other things.

Lt.-Col. Dan Bobbitt, commanding officer of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based at Garrison Petawawa, Ont., died Wednesday during a training exercise at CFB Wainwright, 300 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

Four other soldiers were also injured when the light armoured vehicle they and Bobbitt were riding in rolled over. Two were taken to hospital in Edmonton in fair condition, while the other two were treated at the base and released.

Military officials have not released any other details, saying the investigation is ongoing.

The LAV III, as it's known in the army, has been involved in more than a dozen rollovers since it was introduced in 1999, including several accidents in Afghanistan that resulted in at least five fatalities.

As the vehicles returned from the war, National Defence embarked on an ambitious program to improve the protection, electronics and stability of the vehicle, including the powertrain and suspension. It's not clear whether Bobbitt's vehicle had been upgraded.

The refurbishment program, being carried out by General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., is expected to finish work on the army's entire fleet by 2017.

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