One in custody after Airman dies on Keesler Air Force Base

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BILOXI, Miss. (WJTV) – One person is in custody after an Airman at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi died during a vehicle accident on-base. The incident, which happened Wednesday afternoon, injured three others.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a civilian contractor, who has been identified as 24-year-old Emmett Bennett of Biloxi, was arrested. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and operation of a vehicle while impaired causing death.

“The FBI extends our deepest condolences to the family of the Airman who was killed in this tragedy,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jackson Division, Paul Brown. “Our thoughts are also with the three Airmen that were injured and the entire Keesler community.”

According to the criminal complaint, Bennett was driving south of Ploesti Drive on Keesler Air Force Base shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Agents said he 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. 

Officials at the base stated two of the injured Airmen were treated at Keesler Medical Center and the third at a medical facility in New Orleans. All three are currently in stable condition.

The identity of the Airman who died will not be released until 24 hours after next of kin notifications have been made.

Bennett made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Robert Myers in Gulfport on Thursday.

In a statement, the FBI said agents are working with Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Air Force Security Forces and the Biloxi Police Department in the ongoing investigation.

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