Reservist testifies he could have prevented death of soldier in exercise

Associated Press

CALGARY - A Calgary reservist charged with manslaughter in a training accident in Afghanistan has admitted he could have prevented the death of a Canadian soldier two years ago.

Maj. Darryl Watts confirmed under cross-examination that if he had ordered his soldiers inside armoured vehicles during a Claymore firing, it is likely Cpl. Josh Baker would still be alive.

Baker died and four others were injured when ball bearings from the anti-personnel mine hit the platoon.

Watts maintained he was not in charge of range safety, but admitted he could have ordered the men to take cover or have called off the firing altogether.

The major says he had no reason to doubt the ability of his warrant officer's abilities and believed the men, wearing full combat gear, were safe.

The defence will wrap up its case today.