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Dave Roepke, Published September 26 2010

Roadwork on County Highway 52 damaged in suspected DWI

A suspected drunken driver caused significant damage Saturday to a new roadway and a paving machine in a barricaded section of Clay County Highway 52 that is under construction.

Sgt. Darin Bredman of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said an extended-cab pickup hit the paving machinery near the intersection of County Highway 10 and County Highway 52 about two miles southeast of Sabin, Minn.

He said the paver and the pavement itself sustained major damage and spilled some hazardous materials into a nearby ditch. Estimated damage wasn’t yet available Saturday night.

“It’s going to be pretty substantial,” Bredman said.

Bredman said investigators have identified a suspect and interviewed him, but they haven’t made any arrests. He declined to release the suspect’s name.

The suspect told deputies he was drinking, Bredman said. He said he moved a barricade to enter the road, and there were skid marks leading up to the machinery, Bredman said.

Deputies think the truck was on the road for less than a mile, Bredman said.

Construction crews have been working on County Highway 52 much of the summer, repaving an eight-mile stretch from the south edge of Sabin to about a mile south of Baker, Minn.

Workers at the construction site reported the accident to authorities when they arrived around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. Based on interviews with the suspect, deputies believe the crash happened between midnight and 1 a.m.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535