Contractor charged after driving into airmen on US base

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A civilian contractor working on a U.S. Air Force base in Mississippi was charged with involuntary manslaughter Thursday after he drove his vehicle into four airmen walking on a track, killing one of them, the FBI said.

Emmett J. Bennett, 24, of Biloxi also was charged with operation of a vehicle while impaired in the Wednesday accident at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, the FBI said.

Bennett was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed and narrowly avoided an accident with another vehicle when he crossed the northbound lane of a road on base and hit a light pole, FBI spokesperson Brett Carr said in a news release. Bennett’s car then hit the airmen, Carr said.

Prior to the accident, witnesses reported Bennett acting erratically, Carr said. The investigation into all factors leading up to the accident is ongoing.

The airman who died was assigned to the 81st Training Wing at Keesler. Military officials said the airman’s name won’t be released until 24 hours after relatives are notified. No details were given about the three who were hurt.

Carr said the FBI has jurisdiction because the accident happened on federal property and Bennett is a civilian.
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