A son of freshman North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer was driving a stolen SUV being pursued by police when it crashed and killed a deputy Wednesday evening, Cramer and authorities say.
Cramer said in a statement Wednesday night that Ian Cramer, 42, "was involved in a police chase which resulted in an accident that killed an officer. Ian suffers from serious mental disorders which manifest in severe paranoia and hallucinations."
Cramer said his wife, Kris, "was with Ian when he insisted on going to his brother Ike. Ike died in 2018. Kris took Ian to the Sanford Health emergency room in Bismarck. When she got out of our vehicle, Ian jumped into the driver's seat and fled. Our daughter was able to track the car through Kris' cell phone and lead officers to him in Mercer County, N.D."
At that point, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, "The Bismarck (N.D.) Police Department received the report of a stolen vehicle from Bismarck. The stolen vehicle was a 2017 Black Chevy Tahoe and was being driven by Ian Cramer of Bismarck.
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office spotted Cramer and the ... Tahoe he was driving in Hazen, the highway patrol said, but when deputies approached him, he fled and a chase began.
"During the pursuit," the highway patrol continued, "the vehicle Cramer was driving veered and crashed head-on into an unoccupied Mercer County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle that was parked on a roadside approach. The Sheriff's Office vehicle was displaying its emergency lights at the time.
"A Mercer County Deputy was standing outside and behind the patrol vehicle when it was struck. The impact of the crash pushed the patrol vehicle into the deputy, killing him. At the time the deputy was preparing to deploy a tire deflation device in attempt to end the pursuit.
"Cramer was taken into custody, transported to the Sakakawea Medical Center in Hazen, and then taken to the McLean County Detention Center in Stanton."
The highway patrol said it's still investigating the crash and charges are pending.
Cramer said in his statement that he was going to "take the first flight I can to be with our family as we grieve what has happened. 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."
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