Cumbria crash death soldiers named by Army

Image caption Lance Sgt David Garland lived in Greater Manchester

Two soldiers who died when an Army ambulance collided with two lorries in Cumbria have been named by police.

Pte Jim Austin, 24, and L/Sgt David Gartland, 40, died when the Land Rover they were in collided with two HGVs on the A66 at Stainmore on Thursday.

Pte Austin was from Catterick, North Yorkshire. L/Sgt Gartland of the Grenadier Guards, was from Ashton under Lyne in Greater Manchester.

They were returning to Catterick Garrison from a training exercise.

Pte Austin was with 400 Troop Royal Logistics Corps. They were both based at Catterick Garrison.

'Tragic loss'

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the men were returning from a training exercise on the Warcop ranges in Cumbria.

The MoD said Pte Austin's death had come "just months" after he had achieved "one of his greatest ambitions" by becoming a father.

Capt Dominic Rogerson, Officer Commanding 400 Troop, said: "Private Austin's untimely death is a tragic loss to the troop and his battalion.

"He was totally committed and an extremely hard-working soldier who was highly respected by his peers and chain of command alike. He was a quiet unassuming soldier but one who had a great sense of humour and exceptional loyalty.

Image caption The A66 was closed for 12 hours while the vehicles were recovered

"Private Austin's respect for others, professionalism and good humour were an example to us all. We and his friends will grieve his loss for a long time but our thoughts and prayers go to his family at this very sad time."

L/Sgt Gartland was described as a "stalwart" of the Infantry Training Centre Medical Team.

Col Neil Gillespie, senior medical officer at the ITC in Catterick, said: "His many years of experience in an infantry regimental aid post leant him credibility as the consummate medic, and he cherished his stature as an 'old hand', one who had been there and done it, emerging unruffled and unfazed at the other end.

"His burly presence and Northern demeanour belied someone who was modest and self-effacing.

"His deepest pride, that eclipsed all others, was reserved for his wife Jo and daughter Alice, and he made no secret that there was nowhere he would rather be than back home with his family."

Cumbria Police have appealed for witnesses to the crash to come forward.

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