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Forum Communications Co., Published November 22 2010

North Dakota 18-year-old killed while walking on Manitoba highway

A North Dakota 18-year-old teen died early Saturday when he was struck by a pickup truck while walking on a highway near Winkler, Man., media in Winnipeg reported Sunday on their websites.

The North Dakotan, whose vehicle was found in a nearby ditch, apparently was trying to get help, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg Sun and CBC News.

Winkler is roughly 20 miles north of Walhalla, N.D.

According to the Winnipeg media:

The young man, wearing dark clothing, was walking north in the southbound lane of Highway 32 south of Winkler around 1 a.m. Saturday when he was struck by a pickup truck traveling south. The 18-year-old driver of the Manitoba pickup was a resident of the rural municipality of Rhineland, and drinking had been ruled out as a factor, the RCMP said.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released. An autopsy will be conducted in Winnipeg.

An RCMP captain said the North Dakotan’s vehicle was found in a ditch nearby, suggesting he was trying to walk to Winkler to get help.

RCMP believe lack of visibility was a factor in the collision and are continuing to investigate.

“It’s a sad story,” RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish told the Winnipeg Sun, saying police later found the victim’s vehicle in a ditch “not that far from the actual site” of the collision. “It is our belief that, for reasons yet to be determined, he hit the ditch and then started walking toward Winkler to get some help. And that’s when this unfortunate circumstance occurred.”

The fatal accident came a day after the area’s first major snowfall of the season, the Winnipeg Sun reported.

An autopsy was expected to be conducted at a hospital in Winnipeg, according to the Sun report.

The North Dakotan has relatives who live in the area of the collision, Karpish said, adding at least one of them had been notified of his death.