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Civilian contractor arrested following accident at Keesler Air Force Base

Photo courtesy of TeleSouth Communications Inc.

*This article has been updated to include new information from the FBI

A civilian contractor has been arrested following an accident at Keesler Air Force Base Wednesday that left an Airman dead and three others injured. 

The FBI has announced that 24-year-old Emmett J. Bennett has been charged with ‘involuntary manslaughter’ and ‘operation of a vehicle while impaired causing death.’

According to the criminal complaint, Bennett was driving south of Ploesti Drive on Keesler Air Force Base shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Bennett was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed and narrowly avoided an accident with another vehicle. After avoiding the accident, Bennett allegedly crossed the northbound lane of Ploesti Drive and struck a light pole. The vehicle then struck four Airmen while they were walking on a walking track, killing one and injuring the others.

Prior to the accident, witnesses reported Bennett acting in an erratic manner.

According to a news release, two of the Airmen injured in accident were treated at the on-base medical center and the third was treated at a medical facility in New Orleans. All three are currently in stable condition.

“This is a tragic accident and loss for the 81st Training Wing and our community,” said Col. Bill Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our Airmen and we are thinking of and praying for all those involved.”

The investigation into the accident is ongoing. 

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