Darryl Watts, Paul Ravensdale, Canada Soldiers, Faces Charges A Year After Joshua Baker Killed In Training Accident
THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - More than a year after Cpl. Joshua Baker was killed and four other soldiers were wounded during a training accident in Afghanistan, two Canadian Forces members have been charged with manslaughter.
The military said Wednesday that Maj. Darryl Watts and Warrant Officer Paul Ravensdale face six charges each, including one count of manslaughter, one count of negligent performance of a military duty and four counts of unlawfully causing bodily harm.
The accident happened on Feb. 12, 2010 at a range northeast of Kandahar city.
Born and raised in Scarborough, Ont., Baker had moved to Alberta and was a member of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and was serving with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team.
The military offered few details at the time about the 24-year-old's death other than to say it happened during a routine training exercise and an investigation was underway.
The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service said in a statement late Wednesday that Watts was the officer in charge and Ravensdale was the range safety officer.
"It is alleged that the proper safety procedures were not followed during the training exercise," read the statement. The case will now proceed through the military justice system.
Shortly after his death, Baker's family said he planned to apply to become an officer with the Edmonton Police Service when he returned from Afghanistan and stay in the military as a reservist.
He was the 140th Canadian soldier to die since the Afghan mission began nine years ago.
News of the charges came just hours after the body of the latest Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan arrived at Canadian Forces Base Trenton.
Master Cpl. Francis Roy died Saturday of causes not related to combat at a forward operating base in Kandahar. He is the 157th Canadian soldier to die on the Afghan mission that wraps up next month.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Cpl. Joshua Baker is an Edmonton native, but he was actually born and raised in Scarborough, Ont.