West Point cadet killed in accident identified

West Point accident rare, not unprecedented

Authorities have identified the 22-year-old cadet who was killed when a military vehicle rolled over at West Point. Christopher Morgan of West Orange, New Jersey, died in the accident, officials said Friday. 

Morgan studied law and legal studies and was a member of the Army’s wrestling team.

“We are devastated by the news of Chris’ passing. He was a talented, hardworking, and determined athlete who loved his sport,” Army West Point Wrestling Coach Kevin Ward said in a statement. 

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“Chris had an infectious personality with a smile big enough to fill any room, and a heart big enough to love everyone around him. He made everyone around him better and he will be greatly missed,” he added. 

U.S. Military Academy photo

A vigil for Morgan will be held Friday night at West Point and a memorial ceremony and funeral will be held next week, CBS New York reported. 

Nearly two dozen others were injured in the accident. The cadets, seniors at the academy, were being transported to a routine land navigation training exercise, Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams said in a news conference Thursday. They were driving over hilly, challenging terrain.

Veteran soldiers had been deployed from the Third Infantry to West Point to train the new cadets. Soldiers came from Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, Fort Campbell and Fort Stewart to participate in the training.

It isn’t the first time that members of the military have been killed during training exercises. Back in June 2016 at Texas’ Fort Hood, nine soldiers died after their vehicle flipped in a flood stream. In 2009, 13 were injured after their truck overturned at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Now, investigators want to know exactly how a tactical vehicle packed with cadets overturned in the woods near the Academy early Thursday morning. The accident unfolded the same day the country paused to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

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