West Point cadet killed in crash identified as West Orange HS graduate

Posted: Updated:

The U.S. Military Academy has identified the cadet killed in a vehicle rollover during a training exercise as a 22-year-old from Essex County.

West Point on Friday announced that Cadet Christopher Morgan of West Orange died when a vehicle carrying cadets overturned in wooded terrain Thursday morning. West Point says 19 cadets and two soldiers operating the vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries. All the cadets have been treated and released.

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.

Morgan’s father Christopher Morgan Sr. says that his son was the best of the best.

"Nothing that has happened in the last couple of days is going to take away what I have or what we shared with him,” Morgan’s father says.

RELATED: West Point cadet killed, many injured in training crash 

Morgan was a graduate of West Orange High School, where he also wrestled. His coach says that he was a beloved member of the high school wrestling team.

"He was an outstanding student. His teachers loved and adored him. His peers respected him,” says coach Stephan Zichella.

Christopher Morgan Sr. says that his son was thinking of becoming an Army Ranger during his mandatory service and then going into law.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to have had him as a son,” says Morgan Sr. “We are grateful for the friends and family who helped shape him through the formative years."

Morgan has a younger brother who is graduating from high school and is also planning on attending West Point.

West Point cadets will hold a vigil to honor Morgan on Friday night. A memorial ceremony and private funeral service will be held at the next week.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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