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Published July 23 2012

Authorities hope unidentified trucker can shed light on wrong-way collision

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The Highway Patrol has finished reconstructing a head-on crash that killed four people, including a West Fargo family of three, on Interstate 94 west of Jamestown, Lt. Aaron Hummel said Monday.

The crash report is being reviewed by a supervisor and a second crash reconstruction expert, and Hummel said he hopes it will be ready for release by the middle of this week.

Last week, the patrol released the results of a blood sample that showed the wrong-way driver who died in the July 6 crash, 28-year-old Wyatt Klein of Jamestown, had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.25 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent for driving.

The patrol said Klein was driving east in the westbound lane of I-94 when his pickup collided with a westbound Subaru carrying 34-year-old Aaron Deutscher, his pregnant 36-year-old wife, Allison, and their 18-month-old daughter, Brielle. All three died in the accident.

Hummel said witnesses saw Klein going the wrong way as he left the rest area between Crystal Springs and Medina, and the crash occurred shortly after that at about 7:18 p.m.

Witnesses also said the Subaru had passed a truck prior to the crash, but the patrol has been unable to locate or identify the truck or its driver, Hummel said.

Hummel said troopers are planning to visit with those witnesses again to see if they can recall information that would help identify the truck, but it’s unlikely it will produce new leads. He said there’s no reason to believe the truck was involved in the crash.

But officials would like to talk to the trucker to better understand how the crash happened, patrol Sgt. Tom Herzig said last week.

“That would be an important part of it,” he said.

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

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