The son of a North Dakota senator was charged with manslaughter after he allegedly led police on a car chase, which resulted in the death of a sheriff’s deputy on Wednesday.
Ian Cramer, 42, son of Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), was arrested and charged with manslaughter, fleeing a police officer and reckless endangerment, according to court records, The New York Times reported. Cramer is expected to appear in court on Friday.
Cramer confirmed that his son had been involved in the car crash that claimed the life of Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Martin, 53, adding that his son suffered from “serious mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations.”
The incident reportedly began around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when Kris Cramer, the senator’s wife, drove their son to the hospital after he had insisted on seeing his brother, Ike, who passed away in 2018.
“Kris took Ian to the Sanford Health emergency room in Bismarck,” Cramer’s statement continued. “When she got out of our vehicle, Ian jumped into the driver’s seat and fled.”
After jumping into the driver’s seat, Ian Cramer rammed the doors of the ambulance bay and drove through the bay, the Bismarck Police Department said in a statement.
When officers arrived on the scene, they were informed of what had transpired and that Ian Cramer had fled the scene. Officers opened an investigation into the motor vehicle theft of a black 2017 Chevrolet SUV, according to the police.
One of Cramer’s daughters was able to track her mother’s phone that had been left in the vehicle and notified the authorities. Ian Cramer was located nearly 70 miles away in the city of Hazen in Mercer County, the senator said.
Upon locating Ian Cramer, authorities were led on a car chase for five miles. One officer from Beulah reportedly attempted to stop the vehicle using a tire deflation device which resulted in only two tires going flat, according to the Associated Press.
Ian Cramer kept driving and about five miles from Hazen, Beulah Chief of Police Frank Senn and Martin had set up tire deflation devices and hid behind their vehicles.
The senator’s son then swerved and hit an unoccupied sheriff’s car, which was pushed into Martin who reportedly had been standing “behind the patrol vehicle when it was struck,” the North Dakota Highway Patrol said.
Martin was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, while Ian Cramer was taken to the hospital and arrested after being evaluated.
Before the incident, Ian Cramer had been charged with misdemeanor simple assault in 2013 after causing injury to his brother’s head. In 2010, he reportedly received a citation for driving under the influence, and other citations this year, including one the day before the crash for driving on a suspended license.
“We grieve especially for the family of the hero who tried to help Ian, and we pray for our gracious God to show up as He always does in tragedy,” Cramer wrote in his statement. “We ask the public for prayers for the lost officer’s family and colleagues who serve us every day and are grateful for all they do for us.”