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Government subcontractor, Bemidji native, dies in Afghanistan crash

Randy Bergquist

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota native has died in the crash of a U.S. Army reconnaissance plane in Afghanistan.

Pilot Randy Bergquist was killed along with two other American military contractors when the Army C-12 Huron twin-engine turboprop crashed two weeks ago in a rugged, mountainous area of northeastern Afghanistan.

Bergquist, 53, was born in Bemidji and graduated from Princeton High School. He and the other two victims were working for Lockheed Martin subcontractors.

Bergquist's widow, Pam, told the Star Tribune, "Everybody knew that if that plane was flyable, he was walking out of the mountains."

The couple married in 1982 and moved to Florida in 1987. A former Marine, Bergquist worked for what was then U.S. Customs, doing drug interdiction. After retiring, Bergquist worked for Avenge Inc., a Virginia-based company.

NATO said in a statement Tuesday the incident is "under investigation, though hostile action is not believed to be the cause of the crash."