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US Sen. Kevin Cramer’s son charged with manslaughter in crash that killed deputy

BISMARCK, N.D. — On Thursday, the 42-year-old son of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer faced charges of manslaughter and fleeing an officer following a police pursuit that culminated in a fatal crash involving a North Dakota sheriff’s deputy. Court documents reveal that Ian Cramer of Bismarck was driving at speeds exceeding 100 mph with two flat tires when he collided head-on with Deputy Paul Martin’s squad car. The impact propelled Martin, who had deployed a tire deflation device moments earlier, approximately 100 feet, resulting in his death.

Ian Cramer is slated to appear in court for the first time on Friday, facing multiple felony charges, including manslaughter, fleeing a police officer, and reckless endangerment. No attorney was listed in court records, and Sen. Kevin Cramer refrained from interviews out of respect for Martin’s family.

Earlier in the day, Cramer released a statement, requesting public prayers for the fallen officer’s family and expressing gratitude for the service of law enforcement personnel. According to Bismarck police, Ian Cramer’s mother drove him to Sanford Health emergency room on Wednesday due to concerns about his mental health. Seizing an opportunity, Cramer took the wheel, crashed through a door to exit the enclosed ambulance bay at the hospital, and subsequently triggered a pursuit.

One of Sen. Kevin Cramer’s daughters tracked the vehicle via cellphone and alerted authorities. A deputy in Mercer County spotted Cramer in Hazen, initiating a chase. Despite initial attempts to stop him, Cramer persisted, even after two of his tires were flattened by a tire deflation device. The pursuit led to a collision outside Hazen, where Deputy Paul Martin lost his life.

Following the crash, Cramer attempted to flee on foot but was subdued by law enforcement. Chief of Police Frank Senn from Beulah, who had deployed the tire deflation device, also sustained injuries during Cramer’s resistance.

Sen. Kevin Cramer disclosed that his son grapples with severe mental disorders, characterized by paranoia and hallucinations. The senator, a vocal supporter of law enforcement, expressed grief for the family of the deputy who attempted to aid Ian. Critics have pointed out the senator’s support for cuts that could jeopardize mental health coverage, despite his co-sponsorship of legislation addressing mental health provider shortages in schools and expanding services for military families and veterans.

By: Montana Newsroom

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