Air Force family from North Dakota killed in Thanksgiving Day vehicle crash

Credit: 10219/Pixabay

Credit: 10219/Pixabay

A North Dakota family of four was killed Thursday morning on a Montana interstate highway near Billings, the Billings Gazette reported.

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Staff Sgt. Anthony James Dean, 25, assigned to the 69th Maintenance Squadron, died in the single-vehicle crash on I-94, according to Sheriff Neil Kittelmann of the Carter County Sheriff's Office. The others killed were Dean's wife, Chelsi Dean, and their two children, Kaytlin Merie Dean, 5, and Avri James Dean, 20 months, KVLY reported.

Chelsi Dean was a member of the Manvel Volunteer Fire Department, the television station reported. Anthony and Chelsi Dean were originally from Caldwell, Idaho, and were living in Manvel, North Dakota, the U.S. Air Force told the Gazette.

"Words are not enough during a time like this," Maj. Eric Inkenbrandt, the 69th Maintenance Squadron commander, told KVLY. "AJ's family brought a light to our maintenance community, and this loss strikes each of us deeply. May their friends and family be granted the strength and serenity to get through this sorrowful time."

According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the family was traveling in a dark blue 2017 Toyota 4Runner while towing another vehicle on a trailer about 7 a.m. Thursday, the Gazette reported. The 4Runner veered off the roadway to the left and into the median, troopers told the newspaper.

The vehicle then went airborne, struck a bridge's concrete support pillar and landed in a creek, the Gazette reported.

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