Forum staff reports, Published July 21 2009
Walcott man set to change plea in fatal crashHILLSBORO, N.D. – A Walcott man who pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide and reckless endangerment in the death of a 72-old-woman in a two-vehicle crash near Blanchard is set for a change of plea on Wednesday.
Ryan Berggren, 27, had been scheduled to go to trial today in Traill County District Court in Hillsboro.
The change of plea hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Berggren is accused of driving a semi hauling a combine on a trailer without safety lights, causing the death of Barbara Mueller of Cummings.
The state Highway Patrol said Berggren was driving the semi about 10 p.m. July 25, 2008, when it stalled on the Elm River bridge south of Blanchard on State Highway 18. Berggren eventually got it running, and a car hit the combine’s tires on the bridge before Mueller’s Ford Explorer struck the tires, the patrol said.
Mueller’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Berggren and the farmers he worked for.