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Published November 17 2010

UPDATED: Patrol identifies driver injured when car crashes into overturned semi hauling batteries, paint thinner

UPDATED: 11:58 a.m.

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – The driver of a passenger car was injured today when his car slammed into an overturned semitrailer blocking Interstate 94 east of Valley City and then was hit by a pickup, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said.

Patrol Sgt. Josh Rude said the semi was westbound in the passing lane of I-94 near mile marker 299 just after 1 a.m. when it drifted onto the shoulder of the median. The driver overcorrected, causing the semi to tip onto the driver’s side.

As the semi was sliding in the median and passing lane, it was struck by a 2002 Buick Regal driven by 62-year-old Preston Bush of Oriska. A 2000 Chevy Silverado pickup then hit the Buick.

Rude said the pickup’s driver, Dean Unser, 63, of Mandan, was able to get out and warn oncoming drivers of the danger ahead.

Bush had to be extricated from the car.

All three drivers were taken to Mercy Hospital in Valley City. Bush was transferred to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo with “more critical injuries,” the patrol stated in a news release.

Unser and the semi’s driver, Trent Fore, 26, of Hewitt, Minn., were treated and released.

Rude said the semi was hauling paint thinner and batteries, which didn’t leak but created a hazardous materials situation. It took until about 5:30 a.m. to unload the trailer, he said.

Road conditions at the time of the accident were icy and slick due to a mixture of snow flurries and light rain, the news release stated.

The car was totaled. Damage was estimated at $29,000 to the semi and $6,000 to the pickup.

Barnes County authorities also responded to two non-injury accidents this morning.

Just before 5 a.m., a Jeep rolled over near Rogers, but no one was hurt, Sheriff Gene Bjerke said.

A tandem-axle trailer tipped at 5:17 a.m. at mile marker 285 on I-94 west of Valley City. The driver told authorities that the trailer started fish-tailing and swung him around. The trailer tipped, but the truck didn’t, and there were no injuries, Bjerke said.