Inquest hears that a 23-year-old soldier died from a head injury sustained when his tank flipped during a training exercise in Salisbury Plain.

  • Private Jethro Watson – Pickering was behind the wheel.
  • The accident resulted in a fatal and’significant’ head injury for the 23-year-old.
  • The soldiers were stationed in Salisbury Plain, Wilts near Enford.

An inquest into the death of a young soldier in the British Army heard today that he sustained a serious head injury after the tank he was driving flipped while undergoing training exercises.

Private Jethro Watson -Pickering was at the wheel of the armoured car, which was carrying two soldiers when its gun barrel struck the tree.

The accident at midday resulted in a’significant’ and fatal head injuries. The victim tragically died.

The tank flipped while the soldiers were training in Salisbury Plain (Wilts), near Enford, on October 15.

According to reports, Army engineers had to free trapped soldiers from an overturned tank. Pte. Watson-Pickering was declared dead on the spot and identified by a colleague.

Pte. Watson-Pickering was from Boosbeck, in the area of Redcar on Teesside.

Private Jethro Watson-Pickering (pictured) was behind the wheel of the armoured vehicle which was carrying two other soldiers when its gun barrel struck a tree

Private Jethro Watson–Pickering was behind the wheel when the gun barrel of the armoured vehicle struck a tree.

Ian Singleton, the Coroner, opened the inquest. He then adjourned it while Wiltshire Police and Health and Safety Executive investigate.

Mr Singleton stated that he was involved with military training on October 15. He was the driver and two others were inside. The barrel of the vehicle struck the tree while they were driving off the road at 12.00. This caused it to spin, hitting Singleton in his head.

“He sustained serious injuries and was declared dead on the spot that day.”

Mr Singleton stated that an exam showed that Pte. Watson–Pickering died from a head injury, and that a full examination will take place.

Mr Singleton stated that the young soldier was identified as a colleague who had been working with him for one year.

The soldiers were training in Salisbury Plain, Wilts, near the village of Enford on October 15 when the tank flipped. Pictured, the scene after the soldier's death

The tank flipped while the soldiers were training in Salisbury Plain (Wilts), near Enford on October 15. The scene following the death of the soldier is shown in this picture

Mr Singleton said an examination showed Pte Watson-Pickering 'died of a head injury' and added a full examination will be conducted. Pictured, the training area

Mr Singleton stated that an examination revealed that Pte. Watson-Pickering had suffered a head injury and that a full examination would be done. Pictured: The training area 

The coroner added that police and the Health and Safety Executive were investigating the death of the victim. This investigation will take some time.

Mr Singleton stated that an inquest review would take place in April next years.

An Army spokesperson said that the Army sympathies and thoughts were with the Watson-Pickering family following the tragic death of Pte. Watson-Pickering.

The Yorkshire Regiment posted online the following statement: “The Yorkshire Regiment very regrets to announce Pte Jethro Watson–Pickering’s death on Friday, October 15.

“He was from Boosbeck and Redcar, Cleveland, and was deployed to Salisbury Plain.

‘The thoughts, prayers, and support of the regimental families are with his family. Fortune Favors the Brave’.

Today’s five-minute hearing at Salisbury Coroner’s Court was attended by no family members.