Man killed in northwest North Dakota crash was airman for National Guard

Christopher Brewer, 41, died after the Sunday crash near Velva.

Christopher Brewer
North Dakota National Guard
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VELVA, N.D. — The North Dakota National Guard is mourning the loss of an airman who died Sunday, Jan. 22, after a crash in northwest North Dakota.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, the North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, announced Tuesday that 2nd Lt. Christopher Brewer was part of the Air National Guard in the state. Brewer was driving a 1997 Buick Le Sabre ong Sunday afternoon north on U.S. Highway 52 about a mile north of Velva when a 2006 Mazda Tribute driven by 32-year-old Robb Labonte, of Minot, crossed the center line, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

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The Mazda hit Brewer’s vehicle head on. Brewer, a 41-year-old from Velva, and Labonte were not wearing their seat belts, troopers said in a news release.

The two men were taken to Trinity Hospital in Minot. They both died, the Highway Patrol said.

Brewer enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard in 2005, according to a news release. He was an avionics technician with the 119th Maintenance Squadron, a personnel specialist with the 119th Force Support Squadron and the 219th Security Forces Squadron, and a first sergeant with the 119th Medical Group. He was promoted to second lieutenant last year and served with the 219th Security Forces Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, the release said.


He also was a teacher at Bishop Ryan Catholic School in Minot, the release said.

Velva is about 20 miles southeast of Minot.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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