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Helmut Schmidt, Published February 07 2009

City to hear report on rut accident Monday

A report tied to a Dec. 10 fatal car crash on Fargo’s South University Drive will be presented Monday to the City Commission.

The report was compiled by Norm Anderson, a former federal prosecutor, and Tom O’Halloran, a former criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service.

A commission agenda states the report will focus on communications between city employees about a rut on South University that has been the focus of an investigation into the crash that resulted in the death of 8-year-old Amanda Leininger.

Employees in the City Commission and city attorney’s office said Friday that the report had not been given to city officials. They said it would likely not be released before the City Commission meeting.

In a related matter, Fargo police turned over a report on the crash to the Cass County state’s attorney’s office to determine if charges will be filed in the case, Lt. Pat Claus said.

Claus said the case is still considered an ongoing investigation. Information from the police report won’t be available until the investigation is closed, or unless documents are filed as part of a criminal case.

Mayor Dennis Walaker early on said, based on the initial report he received from police, that the fatal accident was caused by a rut where the road meets the shoulder on South University near El Cano Drive.

The accident was one of three crashes in three days tied to the rut. In the other two cases, the drivers tried to get their tires out of the rut and the overcorrection put their vehicles in the opposite lane.

Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn contributed to this report. Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583