‘He made me better’: Family and friends remember West Point cadet killed in accident

WEST ORANGE, N.J. (WCBS/CNN) – Family and friends in New Jersey are remembering a West Point cadet who died in an accident Thursday.

Christopher J. Morgan was killed during a rollover accident. (Source: WCBS/Morgan family/CNN)

Christopher J. Morgan was killed and others were injured during a rollover accident near West Point.

Morgan’s father said his son’s smile lit up a room, but it was the attitude behind his smile that illuminated it.

You can see that in photos of Morgan dressed in his cadet uniform.

“Helped me to be a good dad, just because I had to try to live an exemplary life for him, to give him some good footsteps to follow,” said Christopher C. Morgan, the cadet’s father. “He made me better.”

Christopher J. Morgan was killed Thursday morning when a military vehicle he was riding in rolled over in the hilly forest near West Point. He was set to graduate in 2020.

The 22-year-old was a record-breaking wrestler at West Orange High School, respected for his sportsmanship and hard work.

"Outstanding student. His teachers loved and adored him. His peers respected him,” said Stephan Zichella, a wrestling coach at West Orange High School.

Morgan’s friends are heartbroken.

"He tried to make everybody smile,” said Morgan’s friend Vanessa Lettman. “He's very, like, goofy, so he tried to make everybody else laugh."

Morgan’s dad said his son was a pleasure to be around.

"What made him a great kid was his attitude. He was easy to deal with,” he said. “He had a handshake that could fracture a bone."

Nineteen other cadets and two soldiers sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.

Copyright 2019 WCBS via CNN. All rights reserved.