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'He loved everyone': Widow of Carrington police chief says husband's death is loss for community, country

36-year-old Brandon Sola was also a longtime Master Sergeant with the North Dakota Air National Guard.

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Carrington police chief Brandon Sola stands outside his cruiser.
Contributed / Sola Family
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WEST FARGO — Brandon Sola had three loves in life: His family, his country and his community.

The Carrington police chief and longtime member of the North Dakota National Guard was killed in an off-duty motorcycle crash on Interstate 94 near West Fargo on June 28.

Troopers are still investigating why his motorcycle wobbled and threw him off it. He had just picked it up from the repair shop.

His brother was riding another motorcycle with him, and they were headed to the brother's house in Mapleton.

"So many people loved him so much," said his widow, Rebecca Sola.

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She remembers how easy it was to love him. She was a clerk at Hot Topic when Brandon came in to buy a CD. Six months later, they were married.

"I never believed in love at first sight, but it was definitely, definitely that," she said.

Growing up, Brandon Sola's first love was law enforcement; he looked up to his uncle, longtime McHenry County Sheriff Marv Sola. The Mapleton native made his parents sign the dotted line when he was 17 years old to join the North Dakota National Guard to be a member of the Happy Hooligans.

"His mom said, 'If I don't sign it now, what's the point of waiting until he's 18? He can get in earlier,'" Rebecca Sola said.

Brandon launched his law enforcement career as a member of the North Dakota Highway Patrol based out of Velva. He went on to become the police chief in Carrington, meaning he was working his two dream jobs.

"Honestly, I can't say what he loved more; I know he loved them both so much," Rebecca Sola said.

But what the 36-year-old loved most in life was his wife and their five kids. Even though the family lived in Velva, and Brandon Sola worked at the Air Guard in Fargo and as the chief in Carrington, it still seemed like he was always there.

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"He would do anything and everything for them. It didn't matter if he was in Fargo ... (and) he's running on no sleep. If he could make it, he would do anything and everything to get to anything that they had going on," Rebecca Sola said.

She remembers the last time she talked with her husband. It was just a few hours before the crash. She was dropping the kids off at baseball, and Brandon Sola had just finished up at the National Guard base.

It was a quick conversation, but it ended with the same three words they always said to each other, "I love you."

"That was a stipulation in our marriage, no matter how mad we are, every married couple should do that. ... Look what happened," she said with tears in her eyes.

Rebecca Sola remembers when the National Guard came to offer their condolences and referred to her husband as a "hero."

She wants everyone to remember one thing about her husband: "He really loved everybody around him, and people need to remember that ... he loved them very much."

A public visitation will be held at Oak Valley Lutheran church in Velva Friday night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The funeral will be Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

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Brandon Sola be will buried at the National Veterans Cemetery in Fargo.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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