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Published November 18 2010

Driver injured in pileup on I-94

An Oriska, N.D., man was seriously injured Wednesday in a three-vehicle pileup involving a car, pickup and semitrailer on Interstate 94 east of Valley City, the state Highway Patrol said.

All three drivers were taken to Mercy Hospital in Valley City. The car’s driver, Preston Bush, 62, of Oriska, was transferred to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo with “more critical injuries,” the patrol stated in a news release.

Bush’s condition wasn’t available, a hospital spokeswoman 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, he said.

As the semi slid in the median and passing lane, it was struck by a 2002 Buick Regal driven by Bush. 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 traffic of the danger ahead.

Barnes County Fire and Rescue had to cut Bush free from the wrecked car.

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

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

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

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

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528