Private Steven Allen died following an incident that occurred during an infantry field training exercise at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, Alberta, on November 3, 2014.
Private Allen, who was training to become a fully-qualified Regular Force infantry soldier, was recruited out of Victoria, British Columbia. At the time of the incident, Private Allen was posted to the 3 Cdn Div Training Centre.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Private Allen. In any situation, the loss of a soldier is always tragic. Although we train as we fight in war a loss of life in training is no less significant than a loss of life in war,” said Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army.
While participating in a unit-led activity in the training area the structure Allen and another soldier were occupying collapsed, killing Allen and injuring another soldier. Private Allen completed his Basic Military Qualification in February 2014 and at the time of the accident had not served abroad.
The safety and security of soldiers is of utmost importance to the CAF. Hainse advised an investigation will be conducted into the circumstances surrounding the incident to ensure every precaution is taken to keep soldiers safe while training.
The second soldier, injured in the same accident suffered minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
Hainse extended thoughts and prayers to Private Steven Allen’s family and friends and wished a speedy recovery to the injured soldier.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement on the death of Private Allen.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Private Steven Allen. We offer our prayers for the quick recovery of the injured member. Private Allen lost his life in the line of duty. We will honour and remember his service to Canada.”
The afternoon of November 7 the family of Private Allen issued the following statement to the media.
“We would like to thank the Canadian military for the awesome assistance we have received during our time of sorrow. Special thanks go out to Captain Jocelyn Roy and Padre Joe Almeida for their care and understanding. We would also like to recognize the hard work and dedication of the medical staff at the University Hospital area 4A4, nurses Shelley, Alison and Xerxes and Dr. Mary Stephens.”
“During the past year Steven transformed from a boy into the man that we all know and are so proud of. He was strong, brave and happier in this last year than ever before. When he joined the Forces, he gained a whole new family and we want to acknowledge his military brothers and sisters and the loss they are feeling right now. He died a soldier, a warrior. We love you Steven.”
The accident serves as a reminder of the dangers that the men and women who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces face each day, whether they participate in training exercises at home, or while deployed on operations abroad.