Cadet killed in West Point accident was Army wrestler

Christopher J. Morgan

The cadet who was killed in a West Point training accident early Thursday morning was a member of the Army's wrestling squad.

Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, 22, died from injuries in a vehicle rollover while on the way to a field training exercise near the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which is located approximately 50 miles north of New York City.

Nineteen other cadets and two soldiers were injured in the incident involving the rollover of the M1085 Medium Tactical Vehicle, a long-wheelbase cargo truck. Most of the injuries were described as non-life-threatening.

Morgan, originally from West Orange, N.J., was a Class of 2020 cadet studying law. He was described as "a recruited member of the Army Wrestling Team" by the Army Times.

"We are devastated by the news of Chris' passing. He was a talented, hardworking, and determined athlete who loved his sport," Army West Point Wrestling Coach Kevin Ward said in a statement released by the academy Friday.

"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.

According to his bio at the official Army wrestling website, Christopher Jordan Lynn Morgan wrestled at 184 pounds, compiling a 28-22 overall record, with 13 of those wins resulting in bonus points. One of his opponents as a West Point wrestler: Gabe Dean, two-time NCAA Division I champ for Cornell University.

Prior to taking to the mat for the Black Knights, Morgan wrestled at West Orange High School, where he placed fifth in the New Jersey state wrestling tournament in the 182-pound class as a senior in 2015. He had a 30-1 record that season with 20 pins. He was also the co-captain of the West Orange football team, according to the school district.

Morgan is from a family with several generations of West Point graduates, his father Christopher Morgan Sr. told WABC-TV in New York on Friday. He was the oldest of four siblings and his younger brother Colin Morgan will attend the U.S. Military Academy in the fall.

On West Point's Facebook page, Gene Mari Wallis-Morgan, who identified herself as his aunt, said her nephew "had such a beautiful soul and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him."

"As a family we have followed Chris' journey to West Point and are very proud of who he was and his choice to serve his country," she wrote. "Our hearts are broken but, we know that Our Heavenly Father has a grander plan and our CJ is with Him and his grandmothers. Rest In Peace Sweet CJ, we love you."

The school's student body, the Corps of Cadets, will hold a vigil Friday night for Morgan, according to West Point. Next week, a memorial ceremony for the community and a private funeral service will be held at the Academy.


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