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Associated Press, Published October 16 2009

Wintry weather blamed for three North Dakota deaths

BISMARCK– North Dakota got an early shot of wintry weather, with at least three deaths linked to slippery roads and hundreds of people waking up Thursday without power.

Authorities reported dozens of vehicles in the ditch on Interstate 94 in the Valley City area, which got about 5 inches of wet, heavy snow since Wednesday.

A father and son from Mission, Texas, who were working in North Dakota’s oil fields, died Wednesday after their pickup rolled in the ditch on icy U.S. Highway 2 near Stanley, in northwestern North Dakota, the Highway Patrol said.

Authorities said 30-year-old Felipe Escojido died at the scene of the crash and his 57-year-old father, Juan Escojido, the driver, died at the hospital in Stanley.

To the east, in Stutsman County, a car collided Wednesday with a pickup on a road covered with slush and snow near Streeter, killing the car’s driver, 58-year-old Marcia Davis of Ashley, the patrol said.

The storm also set records, even with light snow.

The National Weather Service said the Grand Forks airport got only 0.6 inches of snow Wednesday, but it was enough to break the record for the date of a trace, set in 1975.

Jamestown got 0.26 inches of rain, breaking the record of 0.15 inches set five years ago, the weather service said.

The rain turned to snow later in the day, leading to a record for most liquid-equivalent precipitation, with 0.34 inches, the weather service said.