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ND trooper, 3 others escape injury in four-car pileup

LARIMORE, N.D. -- A North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper and three other drivers escaped injuries when four vehicles were involved in a chain-reaction crash on U.S. Highway 2 about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.

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Forum News Service file photo

LARIMORE, N.D. - A North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper and three other drivers escaped injuries when four vehicles were involved in a chain-reaction crash on U.S. Highway 2 about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.

According to a report, the crash happened while the officer was investigating a cattle truck rollover about 35 miles west of Grand Forks, seven miles west of Larimore.

"They were some minor injuries, and the ambulance was there, but no one was transported away," said Grand Forks County Sheriff's Sgt. Andy Schneider.

According to a report, the trooper was in his parked Ford F-250 patrol vehicle when it was struck by an eastbound 2009 Chevy Impala driven by 26-year-old Alex Weston of Cando, N.D.

Weston's vehicle also struck a parked 2006 Dodge Caravan driven by Shane Ebertowski of Grand Forks who was stopped and waiting to proceed past the crash site.

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Ebertowski's Dodge was then pushed into the fourth vehicle - a parked 2010 Cadillac CTS driven by 25-year-old Christopher Hicks of Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Schneider didn't know the name of the trooper whose vehicle sustained moderate damage, but was still driveable.

The Chevy driven by Weston had expensive damage and had to be towed from the scene, Schneider said.

Weather conditions at the scene were poor as the highway was snow-covered and the visibility was only about 100 feet.

However, Schneider said that stretch of Highway 2 was still open at the time.

The trooper was helping investigate the crash of a 2014 Peterbilt semi that was pulling a livestock trailer with 111 cattle on board.

Thirteen of the cattle died or were euthanized after the eastbound truck hits a series of snow drifts when merging between lanes causing truck driver Dusty Weinreis' vision to be obscured with the truck drifting into the median of the four-lane highway and tipping over, said a state patrol report.

The truck was righted by a tow truck and moved to a nearby farmstead where the cattle were unloaded.

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Weinreis, 30, from Mandan, N.D., wasn't injured, but was cited by the patrol for failing to exercise due caution while operating a commercial motor vehicle in hazardous conditions.

That accident took place about 3:45 a.m.

An almost 50-year veteran of the newspaper business, Amundson has worked for The Forum and Forum News Service for 15 years. He started as a sport reporter in Minnesota. He is currently the city and night reporter for The Forum. bamundson@forumcomm.com 701-451-5665
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