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Dickinson Press' Top 10: No. 2: Western ND roads get dangerous

Several fatalities resulted from traffic incidents in Dickinson and on western North Dakota highways during 2012.

Tracy Freer was fatally injured in a hit-and run incident involving a pickup in November. He had taken his dog outside to the Queen City Motel parking lot when he was hit by pickup. A $5,000 reward was offered for information leading to the driver.

Two additional pedestrians died during October while walking on

or near Highway 22 in separate incidents.

A Richardton man was driving his pickup on Highway 22 south of Dickinson when he met a southbound vehicle. Once that vehicle passed, the driver came upon a man walking in the middle of the lane. The driver tried to stop, but hit pedestrian Brendan Smock.

Also, Roger Gawryluk was on his way home when he was struck by a truck south of Interstate 94 near 3rd Avenue Floral.

A Zahl woman died following an accident with a semi on Highway 85 during November. A North Carolina man was driving a semi across the highway at Williams County Road 10. The woman's Ford Fusion hit the right side of the semi and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shawn Rankin of Pennsylvania also was killed the same day on Highway 85. He was driving his Dodge Durango four miles west of Arnegard, when he struck the rear of a semi being driven by a Missouri driver making a left-hand turn.

A New England pastor, Rev. Patrick Moore, died in August during a two-vehicle crash on Highway 85, 16 miles south of Belfield. A Bowman driver was traveling north in a Chevrolet Silverado when he appeared to drift into the southbound lane. Moore attempted to steer into the northbound lane, but was struck head on by the other vehicle.

A non-fatal, three semi accident near Watford City in December caused traffic to back up for several hours. The incident involved a sideswipe and a head-on collision, and one of the vehicles caught on fire.

Two additional people died in crashes during October in northwest North Dakota. Brent Gardner, Grantsville, Utah, died in a crash on state Highway 40 near Tioga. Jason Smith, Murrieta, Calif., died on U.S. Highway 85 near Alexander.

Both crashes involved pickup trucks colliding.

Editor's Note: This story is the ninth in a series of The Dickinson Press' top 10 stories of the year. Previously on the list:

3: Crew camps grow in popularity

4: Rocky year for DSU

5: Tragedy in New Town

6: Small western ND cities see economic, housing boom

7: Rents double, triple; housing construction industry taking off

8: Dry conditions lead to months-long burn bans, wildfires

9: Property tax bill shot down, Heitkamp beats Berg in election

10: Controversy with Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy

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