Kentucky guard soldiers die in North Dakota crash

By: Jordan Vilines Email
By: Jordan Vilines Email

MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - After weeks of training, one Kentucky National Guard soldier was expected to return home Saturday, but a deadly crash changed everything.

23-year-old Jason Burnette of Manchester died in the crash Thursday morning in North Dakota.

The driver of that car, a fellow soldier, is charged with manslaughter.

Four Kentucky soldiers were in North Dakota training when something went wrong during a late night drive.

Specialist Jason Burnette of Manchester and Sergeant Ronald Forsyth of northern Kentucky
died when the car they were in went off the road and hit a tree

WYMT’s Jordan Vilines spoke with Jason Burnette's wife Jennifer. She said Jason was the best husband, father, son and brother that anyone could ask for

“It was just a few short years ago when Burnette graduated from Clay County High School.

Those who taught him say he was always there with a kind word or helping hand.

“Jason was quiet but it was a quiet strength, he was funny and fun and a leader. He was always the first one there and ready and on task and that’s how he spent his life,” Melissa Doll said.

The two other soldiers in the car were treated and released at a local hospital, but police say the driver, 23-year-old Christopher Brandt, is now charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation by authorities in North Dakota.

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