Speaking at a press conference Friday evening, Josée Kurtz, commodore of Royal Military College, said all four cadets were fourth-year students and were set to graduate with their university degrees and commission as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Kurtz identified the deceased as officer-cadets Jack Hogarth, Andrei Honciu, Broden Murphy and Andrés Salek.
According to Kurtz, Hogarth was completing a degree in military and strategic studies and was going to be an armoured officer in the CAF.
Kurtz said Honciu was completing a degree in business administration and was going to be a logistics officer in the Canadian army.
Murphy was also completing a degree in business administration and was going to be an aerospace environment controller in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Kurtz said.
According to Kurtz, Salek was completing a degree in military and strategic studies and was going to be an armoured officer in the CAF.
Kurtz said the victim’s families had been notified and that the National Investigations Unit is now looking into the incident.
Earlier on Friday, the Department of National Defence confirmed the incident which occurred off of Point Frederick.
Frontenac Paramedic Services in Kingston confirmed its personnel attended the scene and that four people were pronounced dead at the scene.
Emergency crews were called to the scene near Royal Military College and CFB Kingston at about 2 a.m. Friday.
In an email to Global News, DND said the incident involved a vehicle and occurred on campus.
DND said the investigation is ongoing.
“RMC’s first priority is to ensure our Naval and Officer Cadets, staff, faculty, and families are cared for and supported. 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 media statement says.
In a tweet Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his “heart breaks for the families and friends of the four cadet officers who lost their lives this morning in Kingston.”
“The tragic passing of these young Canadians is a devastating loss,” he wrote. “To all who knew them: We’re here for you.”
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson said as a member of the RMC community he is “absolutely heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss of four officer cadets.”
“As mayor of Kingston I want to express my sincere condolences to their families; friends and everyone at RMC,” he wrote. “We stand with you and offer our full support.”
Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, shared her condolences, saying she is “heartbroken that four officer cadets lost their lives far too soon” at RMC Kingston.
“I offer my deepest condolences to their families, classmates and loved ones as they grieve such a profound loss, which is felt across our Canadian Armed Forces and country,” she wrote.
In a press release Friday night, Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, said his heart breaks for those who knew the cadets.
“I am devastated by today’s loss of four of our nation’s young leaders,” he said.
The entire Canadian Armed Forces family grieves with their loved ones and will support them in any way that they need during the challenging and emotional days ahead.”