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Accidents involve DOT plow, blower

By Staff | Feb 27, 2009

A pair of afternoon accidents on Feb. 20 in western Benson County involved a state snow plow and snow blower, according to reports from the N.D. Highway Patrol.

Around 2 p.m. an eastbound semi-trailer clipped the right rear corner of a snow plow it was passing along U.S. Highway 2, causing minor damage to both vehicles. The incident occurred near Pleasant Lake.

The driver of the semi, Eric Goerdt, 34, of Sauk Centre, Minn., was in the driving lane while the Department of Transportation snow plow, driven by David Schneibel, 57, Rugby was in the passing lane. Goerdt was cited for care required. The semi sustained damage to its front left hood while the plow had only paint scrape damage. Both drivers were wearing seat belts and not injured.

Less than a half an hour before that accident was reported, a pickup rear-ended the back of a DOT snow blower unit along N.D. Highway 19 five miles east of Esmond. The driver of the 2007 GMC pickup, David Grau, 60, Walhalla, was taken to the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, treated for injuries and later released. He was wearing a seat belt, and the air bag in the pickup deployed. However, he needed to be extricated from the vehicle.

The driver of the DOT snow blower unit was Donald Sowatzki, 63, of Devils Lake. He was not injured and was also wearing a seat belt.

The snow blower was clearing snow from the westbound shoulder when it was struck from behind by the westbound pickup. The accident remains under investigation by the highway patrol. The Benson County Sheriff’s Department and Esmond Fire Department assisted in the accident.

The pickup was totaled in the crash, and the slow blower sustained significant rear end damage.

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