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Forum staff reports, Published August 10 2012

Fargo police reconstruct June 4 fatal motorcycle crash

FARGO – The 55-year-old semi driver involved in a fatal crash with a motorcyclist in June may be under investigation by the Fargo Police Department.

Authorities blocked off a section of 25th Street South and 23rd Avenue at 5 a.m. Friday to continue investigating the collision between the truck driver, James T. Toner, of Long Prairie, Minn., and 29-year-old Jason Viestenz, who died from injuries sustained in the crash, a police news release said.

The fatal crash occurred June 4, as Viestenz, of Fargo, was traveling southbound in the left lane of 25th Street South when the semi, also heading south in the right lane, made an “improper” right turn and the two collided, Sgt. Ryan Dorrheim said.

Viestenz’s 10-year-old son, Elijah Viestenz, was a passenger on the bike when it collided with the semi. The boy was wearing a helmet, but his father was not, police said. Elijah was treated and released with minor cuts and bruises, Viestenz’s CaringBridge website said.

Toner was not injured in the crash.

Police on Friday used a semi and trailer similar to the semi’s size to simulate the turn of the driver at the time of the accident, the release said.

The case is still open and under investigation, and no charges have been filed against the semi driver, Dorrheim said.

Fargo police hope to have reconstruction wrapped up by next week, but Dorrheim said it depends on how the case develops.