The son of Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) has been charged with manslaughter for his alleged involvement in a police chase that resulted in a sheriff’s deputy’s death.
Authorities charged Ian Cramer, 42, on Thursday with manslaughter, fleeing an officer, and reckless endangerment following the pursuit that caused the death of sheriff deputy Paul Martin.
According to the Associated Press, Martin “laid a tire deflation device on the road and was taking cover behind his squad car.”
🚨Report: North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer son Ian Cramer who is 42 has been charged with manslaughter in crash that killed a North Dakota deputy. Following the crash Ian tried to flee the scene of the crash. pic.twitter.com/XjolwS8Ihw
— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) December 8, 2023
Ian Cramer, of Bismarck, was traveling over 100 mph and already had two flat tires when he slammed head-on into Deputy Paul Martin’s squad car on Wednesday, pushing it “directly into Martin’s person and launching him for about 100 feet,” according to charging documents. Martin, 53, was killed.
Ian Cramer is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday on multiple felony counts including manslaughter, fleeing a police officer and reckless endangerment. Court records did not list an attorney for him, and Sen. Kevin Cramer declined an interview after charges were filed out of respect for Martin’s family.
Earlier Thursday, Cramer released a statement saying: “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.”
According to Bismarck police, Ian Cramer was driven by his mother to Sanford Health emergency room in Bismarck at around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday over concerns about his mental health. When she got out of the SUV, Cramer took the wheel and crashed through a door to get out of an enclosed ambulance bay at the hospital’s emergency department.
One of Sen. Kevin Cramer’s daughters tracked the SUV through a cellphone and alerted authorities.
Over an hour later, a deputy in Mercer County spotted Cramer and the Chevrolet Tahoe in Hazen, a community about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northwest of Bismarck. The North Dakota Highway Patrol said in a news release that a chase then began.
“Earlier this evening, our 42-year-old son Ian 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. 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, ND,” Sen. Cramer said in his statement.
“I will 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,” he added.
Sen. Kevin Cramer's son charged with manslaughter in fatal police chase | Just The News https://t.co/WBjWzeJpD4
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) December 7, 2023
NBC News added:
The North Dakota Highway Patrol said in a news release that it located Ian Cramer in a 2017 Black Chevy Tahoe in Hazen and that a “pursuit ensued” after law enforcement approached Cramer and he fled in the vehicle.
During the pursuit, Cramer “veered and crashed head-on” into an unoccupied Mercer County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle which Martin was standing behind, highway patrol said.
Martin, 53, was killed when the impact of the crash pushed the patrol vehicle into him, according to highway patrol, which said the deputy was readying a tire deflation device in an effort to end the pursuit.Advertisement
An 18-year veteran of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Martin was described in a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page as a “beloved brother in law enforcement, a husband, father, and grandpa.”
“Our wound is raw, and our hearts are broken,” Sheriff Terry Ternes wrote.
Ian Cramer was taken into custody after the crash and transported to a hospital before he was taken to a detention center, highway patrol said.