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Published September 28 2011

Driver airlifted after crashing into beet truck

HUNTER, N.D. – A Grandin man was airlifted to Fargo early Tuesday after his SUV collided head-on with a truck hauling sugar beets near Hunter.

Barry Grothmann, 42, was airlifted to Sanford Medical Center with unknown injuries, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol. His condition was not available.

The crash happened at 1:10 a.m. on State Highway 18 about two miles north of Hunter.

Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Spieker said Grothmann had to be cut from the vehicle. Grothmann was alert when he left the scene, patrol Trooper Todd Ebens said.

The truck’s driver, Irvin Woodworth, was walking around after the crash, but Hunter Ambulance transported him to Sanford to be checked out, Ebens said. Woodworth’s age and address weren’t listed in a patrol news release.

The patrol said the southbound 2001 Chevy Suburban crossed the centerline and struck the truck, which ended up partway in the east ditch.

Grothmann was cited for driving under the influence, Ebens said.

The Transystems truck was headed north from the Amenia sugar beet pile site to the American Crystal Sugar processing plant near Hillsboro, Ebens said. It was pulling two trailers and lost about three-quarters of its sugar beets onto the roadway and into the ditches, shutting down the highway for about three hours, Ebens said. The truck also caught fire and was a total loss, he said.

“It burned to the ground. There’s nothing left of it,” he said.

Hunter Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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