A soldier was charged Sept. 13 in relation to the vehicle rollover that killed a West Point cadet and injured 21 others this summer.
Staff Sgt. Ladonies P. Strong was charged with one specification of involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, reckless operation of a vehicle and prevention of authorized seizure of property under the UCMJ, according to Lt. Col. Patrick Husted, a 3rd Infantry Division spokesman.
Strong was also charged with two specifications of dereliction of duty, Husted told Army Times. She is currently awaiting a preliminary Article 32 hearing that’s scheduled for mid-October, but it has yet to be determined whether she will face court-martial.
“The incident remains under investigation and at this point the command has not yet made a decision whether the charges will be referred to a court-martial; that decision won’t be made until after the Article 32 hearing is complete,” Husted said.
Army Times was not able to reach Strong for comment.
Strong belongs to the 3rd Infantry Division’s Task Force 1-28 out of Fort Benning, Georgia. She was driving an M1085 medium tactical vehicle long wheelbase cargo truck on June 6 when it overturned near the Camp Natural Bridge training site at the U.S. Military Academy.
Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, a member of the Class of 2020, died at the scene of the accident from the injuries he sustained during the vehicle rollover.
Two soldiers and 19 other cadets were also injured in the rollover.
Morgan, 22, was from West Orange, New Jersey. He was majoring in Law and Legal Studies and was a recruited athlete who was on the Army Wrestling Team.
“We are devastated by the news of Chris’ passing. He was a talented, hardworking and determined athlete who loved his sport,” West Point wrestling coach Kevin Ward said at the time of Morgan’s death.
“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," Ward added.
Morgan was laid to rest at West Point’s cemetery on June 15. Local media reported that former president Bill Clinton spoke at the memorial service.
Morgan’s father had been part of the president’s security detail.
West Point’s Commandant of Cadets, Maj. Gen. Steve Gilland, called the 22-year-old “an exemplary classmate and teammate” and said the young man was “tremendously proud to be a cadet.”
More than 1,500 family, friends and military personnel attended the memorial service.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.