BISMARCK, N.D. — The son of United States Sen. Kevin Cramer has been charged with manslaughter and fleeing after a crash that killed a North Dakota deputy in Bismarck.
Ian Cramer, 42, was taken to the hospital by his mother around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. His mother was concerned about his mental health, Bismark Police Department said, according to The Associated Press.
The SUV was parked in the ambulance bay. Ian got into the driver’s seat of the SUV and reportedly rammed the doors of the bay before fleeing the area, police said.
About an hour later, Ian Cramer was spotted by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office in Hazen, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said. Once law enforcement approached the SUV, Ian Cramer reportedly fled and a pursuit began.
During the pursuit, Ian Cramer’s SUV crashed head-on into an unoccupied Mercer County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said. That vehicle had emergency lights on when it was hit.
A deputy with Mercer County Sheriff’s Office was standing outside of the patrol vehicle when it was hit. The impact of the crash pushed the patrol vehicle into the deputy and killed him, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said. A tire deflation device was used to end the pursuit, and Cramer was taken into custody.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol identified the deputy as Paul Martin, 53. He had been with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
“Our entire community has suffered the tragic loss of Deputy Paul Martin. He is our beloved brother in law enforcement, a husband, father, and grandpa. Our wound is raw, and our hearts are broken,” Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Facebook. “We will put one foot in front of the other and move forward slowly, honoring all the wishes humanly possible of his wife and family.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer released a statement Wednesday following the crash.
“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. We don’t have more details right now but will work with authorities to properly inform the public,” Sen. Cramer said.
“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. 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.”
Ian Cramer is expected to appear in court Friday. He is facing charges of manslaughter, fleeing a police officer, reckless endangerment and driving with a suspended license, according to online records obtained by the AP.