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Published October 18 2010

UPDATED: Rush hour crash involves 5 vehicles in south Fargo, 2 people sent to hospital

FARGO – A five-vehicle crash at 7:30 a.m. today sent two people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill at Interstate 94 and South University Drive.

Fargo Police Lt. Joel Vettel said five vehicles were involved in the chain reaction-type crash. It started when a southbound vehicle stopped quickly as the stoplight on the south side of the underpass was turning to red, he said.

A man and woman suffered injuries consistent with a rear-end type accident and were taken to Sanford Health, Vettel said. Another person sustained minor injuries.

Two vehicles had to be towed away from the scene.

A minor fender-bender also was reported at 7:50 a.m. in the 1900 block of University Drive just north of the first accident, but no one was injured.

Traffic was backed up in all directions, and police provided traffic control at the scene.

The five-vehicle crash happened at the same intersection as a fatal accident early Sunday morning that claimed the life of a 23-year-old Fargo man.

The man, whose name hasn’t been released, was killed when his car crashed into a bridge support pillar on South University Drive. The southbound Chevy Impala was traveling at a high rate of speed when it crossed the median and struck the pillar about 1:50 a.m.

The driver, who was alone in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police were investigating reports that two cars were drag racing at the time of the accident, Vettel said, adding there are indications a second vehicle might have been involved in the crash.

“Whether they were drag racing, we don’t know,” he said. “That’s one of the things we’re looking at.”

Vettel said accidents like the five-vehicle crash this morning typically are the result of speed and people following too closely.

“People just need to more diligent about watching the vehicle in front of them,” he said. “Vehicles are going to stop short, just the nature of rush-hour traffic.”