Soldier, 26, dies from head injuries in collision with Warrior armoured vehicle during training exercise on Salisbury Plain

  • The soldier, 26, died after colliding with an armoured vehicle in Wiltshire
  • He was a member of the 5th Battalion The Rifles, police confirmed 
  • Police and the Army and Health and Safety Executive are probing the death 

A soldier has died from head injuries after crashing into a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle during a training exercise in Wiltshire. 

The man, 26, sadly passed away after the military vehicle collision, which happened during a routine exercise on Salisbury Plain, near Tidworth, on Tuesday morning. 

He was a member of 5th Battalion The Rifles, a feared war-fighting infantry battalion, police said. 

The 26-year-old unnamed soldier was on foot when he was struck by the Warrior tank, thought to weigh 25 tonnes. 

Wiltshire Police said in a statement: ‘Emergency services were called to an area of Salisbury Plain, just west of Tidworth, at approximately 10.45am yesterday (21/6) following a report that a man had been involved in a collision with a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle during a routine training exercise.

A Warrior armoured fighting vehicle storms over a river crossing on Salisbury Plain (stock image)

The soldier, 26, died from head injuries after colliding with a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle (stock image)

The soldier collided with the military vehicle during a routine exercise on Salisbury Plain (stock image of nearby Larkhill Barracks)

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

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

‘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.’

The 5 Rifles are based at nearby Bulford, Wilts, and are known as ‘one of the most potent war-fighting infantry battalions’ of the British Army.

It was the last unit in Afghanistan in 2014 and the first to be deployed in NATO’s Enhanced Forward presence in Estonia.

The battalion has previously served in Iraq, Kenya and Belize and has a reputation for being ‘first in, last out’.

The 5 Rifles is the regiment’s champion for cross-country and cricket but maintains a host of sports teams including rugby and football.

This comes after Private Jethro Watson-Pickering, 23, died when an armoured vehicle flipped and hit a tree near the village of Enford on Salisbury Plain in October last year.

He was part of a crew operating the vehicle in a training area when the tragedy occurred, but it took several hours to free trapped soldiers due to the presence of live ammunition on board.

Pte Watson-Pickering, from Boosbeck, Redcar, North Yorks, was pronounced dead at the scene. An inquest heard he suffered a ‘significant’ and fatal head injury.

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