Kentucky National Guard member is charged in deaths of 2 other Guard members

gkocher1@herald-leader.comSeptember 14, 2012 

Police charged a Kentucky National Guard member Friday in connection with the Thursday deaths of two other Guards members in a single-car accident in North Dakota, where the troops were training.

Christopher Brandt, 23, of Lowmansville, was charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of reckless endangerment, said Keith Schroeder, chief of the Devils Lake, N.D., police department.

The Kentucky National Guard on Friday said Sgt. Ronald J. Forsyth, 31, of Ryland Heights and Spc. Jason S. Burnette, 23, of Manchester were killed in the crash.

Brandt and David Duncan, 23, of Hueysville, also Kentucky National Guard members, were treated and released from a local hospital. The reckless endangerment charge is connected with Duncan's injuries. Their ranks were not available.

Brandt was driving the car, which is believed to have been traveling at 88 mph at the time of the crash, Schroeder said. Alcohol is believed to have been involved, but a blood-alcohol content level was not immediately available from a state toxicologist, Schroeder said.

Brandt was picked up Friday afternoon at Camp Grafton Training Center, where the soldiers were participating in engineer-related training.

Burnette was a member of the 207th Horizontal Engineer Company out of Hazard. Forsyth was a member of the 118th Engineer Equipment Supply Platoon based in Walton.

Brandt was lodged in the Lake Region Correctional Center in Devils Lake, N.D. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday, Schroeder said.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service