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Arizona resident dies after crash on Highway 23

WATFORD CITY -- An Arizona resident died late Sunday night after a two-vehicle collision about 3 miles east of Watford City on Highway 23, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Brand M. Patton, 56, was traveling west in a 2003 Buick Century just before midnight when, for unknown reasons, the car swerved into the eastbound lane and struck a 2001 Ford Excursion hauling a trailer and driven by 31-year-old Erick J. Atkinson of LaPrairie, Minn.

Patton went off the road and came to a rest in a private driveway. A passenger, whose name and age were not released, was not injured. Patton died at the scene.

Atkinson and his passengers, 18-year-old Joseph Eicher of Sandpoint, Idaho, and 35-year-old Mitchell Niverson of Nampa, Idaho, were not injured.

The accident closed Highway 23 for about 2½ hours. It remains under investigation.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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