Army sergeant faces charges in fatal West Point accident

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WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — A staff sergeant is facing charges in a rollover accident that killed a U.S. Military Academy cadet during training exercises this summer, Army officials confirmed Thursday.

Staff Sgt. Ladonies P. Strong was charged Sept. 13 with multiple violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide and reckless operation of a vehicle. The sergeant, assigned to Fort Benning in Georgia, also was charged with prevention of authorized seizure of property and two specifications of dereliction of duty, according to a release from the Army.

Twenty-two-year-old Cadet Christopher J. Morgan of West Orange, New Jersey, died after a tactical vehicle carrying cadets overturned in wooded terrain at West Point on June 6. Nineteen cadets and two soldiers operating the vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident remains under investigation.

Strong is awaiting a preliminary hearing next month at Fort Benning. A decision on whether to refer the charges to a court-martial will be made after the hearing.

Army officials did not provide information on whether she had a lawyer.

Morgan was a law and legal studies major in the Class of 2020. He was a recruited athlete and a standout member of the Army wrestling team.

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