Air Force family of four found dead after plunging 200 feet in tragic Thanksgiving crash: Report

An Air Force family reported missing on Thanksgiving was found dead Friday night after a deadly SUV crash in Montana.

Idaho State Journal reports that 25-year-old Staff Sgt. Anthony James Dean, along with 25-year-old wife, Chelsi Kay Dean, and their two little girls, Kaytlin Merie Dean, 5, and Avri James Dean, 1, were found deceased in Huntley, around 13 miles east of Billings.

According to authorities, Chelsi was driving as the family left a relative’s home in Caldwell, Idaho, on their way to Ekalaka, Montana, to visit her grandmother. When family members failed to hear from them, they contacted police. Montana Highway Patrol discovered the family’s SUV in a creek after it spun out of control off of Interstate 94.

Apparently, the SUV, a blue Toyota 4-Runner, hit a median, then traveled “for a distance before going airborne,” then hitting into a cement bridge support and crashing. The SUV was towing another vehicle on a trailer when the accident occurred.

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The SUV was located so far off-road that authorities couldn’t find it until doing a cellphone ping. According to investigators, the family crashed Thursday morning shortly after talking to family.

Killed in the crash were Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Dean and his wife Chelsi, both 25, and their two young daughters, Kaytlin, age 5, and Avri, age 1 (pictured)

Posted by Idaho State Journal on Saturday, November 24, 2018


The family, originally from Idaho, lived in Montana after Anthony Dean was assigned to work as an RQ-4 Global Hawk crew chief at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

“Words are not enough during a time like this,” Maj. Eric Inkenbrandt, 69th Maintenance Squadron commander, said in a statement after learning of the family’s demise. “AJ’s family brought a light to our maintenance community, and this loss strikes each of us deeply. May their friends and family be granted the strength and serenity to get through this sorrowful time.”

Additional details were not immediately available. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional information becomes available.

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[Feature Photo: Dean family/Handout]