NZ Soldier dies in Unimog accident - Two still missing -


Read more about Soldier dies in Unimog accident 23 February 2005 A soldier was killed today and two others are missing after a New Zealand Army Unimog vehicle left the road and crashed n

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February 23rd, 2005   #1
chewie_nz
 

NZ Soldier dies in Unimog accident - Two still missing info


Soldier dies in Unimog accident
23 February 2005

A soldier was killed today and two others are missing after a New Zealand Army Unimog vehicle left the road and crashed near Queenstown.


Police said the soldier and vehicle were taking part in an army driver training exercise when the Unimog crashed into the Kawarau River early this afternoon at the Roaring Meg power station in the Kawarau Gorge.

Ambulance and a rescue helicopter were at the scene tending to other injured occupants of the vehicle.

Defence Minister Mark Burton and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshall Bruce Ferguson, in a statement this afternoon, expressed their "deep regret" at the loss of life and injury.

The Army said it will conduct a full investigation into the accident.

It was the second recent fatality involving army soldiers and a Unimog vehicle on a driver training exercise.

In August last year Private Sean James Dougherty, 29, and Private Daniel Kairua, 22, died on August 11 when their Unimog truck rolled almost 400m off Bossu Rd near Wainui on Banks Peninsula.

A third soldier in the Unimog was badly injured in the crash, which happened in icy conditions.

The crash was the fifth fatal incident involving a defence force Unimog since 1994.

A court of inquiry into the April 2000 death of Staff Sergeant Billy White in a Unimog crash in East Timor recommended the army look at the feasibility of putting roll bars into the trucks.

In October three soldiers, two of them women, were injured when a Unimog truck crashed off the road on the Wairarapa coast.

The three were the only occupants of the Unimog when it went off the road near Wimbledon in the Cape Turnagain area, southeast of Dannevirke.

Late in August a Unimog rolled down a bank on to its roof during an exercise inland from Greymouth. No one was hurt.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3197376a10,00.html


 
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February 23rd, 2005   #2
A Can of Man
 
 
Well the military isn't a safe job. Even during times of peace there are risks with working with so much heavy equipment and things that go bang.
I just hope their families recover well.
 
February 23rd, 2005   #3
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_13th_redneck
Well the military isn't a safe job. Even during times of peace there are risks with working with so much heavy equipment and things that go bang.
I just hope their families recover well.
it's more that both the army and the NZ police have been looking into the driver training section because of these fatalities. there are also calls for roll cages to be fitted to all unimogs still in service
 
February 23rd, 2005   #4
Pyro
 
im sure the NZ army doesnt like the idea of roll cages on the Unimog. with the high amount of accidents prehaps it would be a better idea to get rid of them.
 
February 23rd, 2005   #5
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro
im sure the NZ army doesnt like the idea of roll cages on the Unimog. with the high amount of accidents prehaps it would be a better idea to get rid of them.
actually some unimogs are fitted with roll cages (esp the ones depolyed overseas) but many are calling for the whole fleet to be fitted.


replacing the unimogs is in the pipeline but much of the strain should be taken off the unimog fleets with the aquisition of the new pinzguer vehicle.
http://www.military-quotes.com/forum...566&highlight=


 
February 23rd, 2005   #6
A Can of Man
 
 
That thing doesn't look like it can carry nearly as much stuff as the unimog.
 
February 23rd, 2005   #7
Charge 7
 
 
Couldn't it also be possible that there's nothing wrong with the vehicle but that the soldiers were baja-ing? I've been through several drivers training courses in my own career and there is the temptation when you go through the road test phase to gun the vehicle. I remember as a youngster I put my head through the canvas canopy of a deuce and half (thank God it wasn't the hardtop kind) going highspeed on the road test. It's a tragedy for the soldiers and their families and I'm sorry for them, but I hope the investigation takes all things into consideration regarding the nature of the accidents and I'm sure they will.


"Do not forget your dogs of war, your big guns, which are the most-to-be respected arguments of the rights of kings."

- Frederick the Great, King of Prussia

 
February 23rd, 2005   #8
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
Couldn't it also be possible that there's nothing wrong with the vehicle but that the soldiers were baja-ing? I've been through several drivers training courses in my own career and there is the temptation when you go through the road test phase to gun the vehicle. I remember as a youngster I put my head through the canvas canopy of a deuce and half (thank God it wasn't the hardtop kind) going highspeed on the road test. It's a tragedy for the soldiers and their families and I'm sorry for them, but I hope the investigation takes all things into consideration regarding the nature of the accidents and I'm sure they will.
you're right charge, i've travelled with a few army drivers before in various vehicles and was left with the impression that they'd rather be in a fast & low fighter...but hey! there has already been two investigations and nothing has been changed yet, so i'm guessing that they have taken everything into consideration.

in a roll-over the cab of a unimog is NOT a good place to be (wouldn't have helped in this latest accident however)


***************edit**************
more info just to hand;

Divers will start scouring the Kawarau River this morning for two soldiers believed to be in a military Unimog which plunged down a gorge into the river yesterday, killing a third soldier.


Police today named the soldiers as Ashley Patrick Goodwin, 19, from Motueka, who died at the scene, and Private Shane Adrian Ohlen, 21, from Wellington, and Private David James Partington, 17, from Linton who are missing, feared dead.

Police said the soldiers and the vehicle were taking part in an army driver training exercise when the Unimog crashed into the Kawarau River at the Roaring Meg power station in the Kawarau Gorge.

The defence force have said they will conduct an investigation into how the crash happened. It is the fourth fatal accident involving a defence force Unimog in the last five years.

Mr Goodwin and Private Ohlen were based at Burnham Military Camp, and Private Partington was based at Linton Army Camp.

Police believe the missing men's bodies are trapped in the Unimog, which is completely submerged in the rapid river.

Sergeant Steve Ereckson of Cromwell police said as well as a dive team searching the river, the police will also search the riverbanks for the missing men.

He said the speed of the river will make it difficult for the search party.

The focus will be to find the truck first, he said.

Mr Ereckson said the police will also look at why the crash happened.

"The truck, it appears, has ridden along the top of the barrier for quite a distance before coming to a stop straddling the barrier, and we are looking at reasons why it may have dropped down the bank."

He said the road was difficult to drive and all vehicles need to take care driving it.

He said speed, weather and road conditions did not appear to be factors in the crash.


Army spokeswoman Major Denise Mackay today defended the army's safety record

"This was a driver training exercise and what all of the young soldiers who were on this course were learning to do was to drive the Unimog truck.

"They all had their Class 1 licence and they were advancing to the next level, which was why they were practising open road driving in the Unimog."

It was the fourth week of a six week training course.

"They'd been advancing through open road driving. . . once they'd achieved that they would have moved to the next level which meant slightly more complicated and challenging terrain," Maj Mackay told National Radio.

The stretch of State Highway 6 being driven yesterday was an open road, which was well travelled by many different types of vehicles, Maj Mackay said.

"It wasn't a remote area."

The army would undertake a full investigation.

"If there are some recommendations which come out of there that suggest that the army does need to reconsider where Unimog training takes place, that's something we will look at," she said.

In August last year, two soldiers lost their lives on Banks Peninsula when a Unimog left the road.

Private Sean James Dougherty, 29, and Private Daniel Kairua, 22, died when their truck rolled almost 400m off a road near Wainui on the peninsula.

A third soldier in the Unimog was badly injured in the crash, which happened in icy conditions.

The crash was the fifth fatal incident involving a defence force Unimog since 1994.

"(Yesterday) was certainly a different type of road. . .that (Banks Peninsula) inquiry has just concluded and there are a number of recommendations which will be released shortly," Maj Mackay said.

She said yesterday's accident had to be looked at in context.

Unimogs were all fitted with "protective structures", implemented after Staff Sergeant Billy White was killed in a crash in East Timor in April 2000.

"We've taken that precaution already, which I think is important.

"We need to be careful not to take any kneejerk reactions and make sure that any decisions are well considered."

Military police were making their way to Cromwell this morning to work on the crash investigation.

The current driver training course the soldiers were on near Queenstown would not be completed.

Maj Mackay said the army's first priority was to make sure soldiers involved in the accident, and others taking part in the training exercise, were well supported.

"They'll be travelling from Queenstown to Dunedin today, where they'll be meet by one of our army chaplains," she told National Radio.

Military liaison officers were with the three families involved, she said.
SEARCH: A helicopter searches the Kawarau River and scrub in search of two missing soldiers and the Unimog they were travelling in yesterday.
WAITING: Soldiers wait with police for news after one of the Unimogs they travelled with in convoy crashed into the Kawarau River yesterday.
 
February 23rd, 2005   #9
A Can of Man
 
 
Very unfortunate

But I just noticed something. That's a very interesting paint scheme New Zealand has for the type of terrain New Zealand is predominantly covered in. Is it Tan in anticipation of deployment to the desert areas of the world or are the vehicles just given a neutral color before any deployment decision is made?
 
February 24th, 2005   #10
chewie_nz
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_13th_redneck
Very unfortunate

But I just noticed something. That's a very interesting paint scheme New Zealand has for the type of terrain New Zealand is predominantly covered in. Is it Tan in anticipation of deployment to the desert areas of the world or are the vehicles just given a neutral color before any deployment decision is made?
********sorry for the big pics******

actually for the south island...tan is a good choice. here is a picture of the Mckenzie Basin in the middle of the south island. mostly tussock land.



north island 'Mogs usually have olive paint jobs

and here is a couple of pics that pics a bit of scale to the accident

http://www.odt.co.nz/Repository/geti.../Pc0011100.jpg

http://www.odt.co.nz/Repository/geti.../Pc0011500.jpg
 



Tags
army, road, soldier, unimog, vehicle