The West Point cadet who died in a rollover accident was rising senior Christopher J. Morgan

Abbie Bennett
June 07, 2019 - 12:36 pm

West Point


Christopher J. Morgan was set to graduate from the West Point U.S. Military Academy next year.

Now his fellow cadets will have to graduate without Morgan, a standout athlete and loving friend. 

Morgan was killed when a light medium tactical vehicle, featuring a cab and a bed with canopied back and two benches for transporting troops, overturned. The two soldiers in the cab and the 19 other cadets in the bed of the truck all were injured, though none of the injuries were life threatening, West Point leaders said Thursday. 

Morgan, 22, of West Orange, N.J., died at the scene of the accident. He was a law and legal studies major and a recruited athlete -- "a standout member of the Army wrestling team," West Point said in a statement.

The academy had about 2,400 cadets in the area for required land navigation training Thursday. The truck carrying cadet rising seniors was leaving the barracks en route to a nearby training area known as "the lanes" when the rollover accident happened. 

“Cadet Morgan was a valued member of the Corps of Cadets and will be missed by all. The entire community is ensuring that our cadets are being cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, 60th Superintendent, U. S. Military Academy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morgan family.”

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

The Corps of Cadets planned to hold a vigil to honor Morgan Friday. A memorial ceremony for the West Point community and private funeral service will be held at the academy next week.

"Today was a tragic day for the West Point community and our United States Army," Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams said during a news conference Thursday. "We're strong. This is the United States Army. We're strong here at West Point." 

Williams said an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident, but added that "it is not common for these vehicles to turn over." 

"We don't know the details of how the accident actually happened," he said.

BREAKING: One cadet dead in West Point vehicle training accident

Want to get more connected to the stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Follow Abbie Bennett, @AbbieRBennett