Cadet Killed in West Point Crash was NJ Resident
A New Jersey cadet was killed in Thursday's crash on a dirt road near a West Point training facility.
Christopher Morgan, 22, of West Orange, was one of 19 cadets and two soldiers in a light medium tactical vehicle with a 5-ton payload that flipped on the road leading to Camp Natural Bridge.
“Cadet Morgan was a valued member of the Corps of Cadets and will be missed by all," said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, 60th Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy. "The entire community is ensuring that our cadets are being cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morgan family.”
Morgan was a law and legal studies major scheduled to graduate with the Class of 2020. ABC 7 Eyewitness News reported that several generations of his family graduated from West Point and his younger brother Colin Morgan starts in the fall.
Morgan was a member of the West Orange High School wrestling team and was recruited for the West Point team, according to the West Point wrestling team website.
Gov. Phil Murphy and his wife Tammy offered their condolences to Morgan's family.
“Cadet Morgan represented the highest and best values of New Jersey. By all accounts, he was a standout in every regard – academically, athletically, and in the leadership he showed among his peers within the West Orange and West Point communities. Tammy and I add our deepest condolences and prayers to those being offered from across our state and around the nation to C.J.’s family, friends, and fellow cadets, and all who knew and were touched by him," Murphy said in a statement.
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., honored Morgan with a moment of silence at his Newark office on Friday.
“Just to recognize that while this is an extraordinary achievement, there’s always risk involved,” Menendez said in a statement. “Yesterday, unfortunately, we had a tragedy at West Point – a cadet who happens to be, I found out, from New Jersey is the one who lost his life."
The Corps of Cadets will hold a vigil to honor Morgan on Friday night. A memorial ceremony for the West Point community and private funeral service will be held at the academy next week.
Williams said it is not common for these vehicles to turn over.
"It is very rough terrain," Williams told reporters at a briefing near the accident site Thursday afternoon.
Injuries to the other cadets included broken arms and facial abrasions, Williams said.
Morgan was the second cadet death at West Point this year. Cadet Peter Zhu died in February after a skiing accident. His parents made headlines afterward for their successful legal effort to retrieve his frozen sperm.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.