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Emily Welker, Published January 15 2013

No charges in SUV-wheelchair crash

FARGO – A man in a wheelchair who reported being hit by an SUV near a north Fargo bar last November is bothered that police say they’re unlikely to file charges in his case.

Lt. Joel Vettel said police uncovered “discrepancies” between what the victim reported and what their investigation found.

The victim, Donald Petersen of Fargo, originally reported he was struck by a white SUV outside Slammer’s Sports Bar and Casino in the 700 block of 28th Avenue North about 7 p.m. on Nov. 16. Police said the vehicle then sped off westbound. They haven’t been able to find the driver.

“Basically, his injuries would have been much greater if it had happened the way he said it had,” Vettel said.

Petersen was listed in satisfactory condition the day after the accident, according to a Sanford spokesperson.

“I’m telling the truth,” Petersen said after hearing police were not planning to charge anyone with hitting him.

Petersen said doctors told him he had a fractured pelvis when he was seen shortly after the crash. He said he was also left with a black eye when he was thrown from his wheelchair onto the street.

Petersen said he was struck from behind, so he didn’t get a good look at the driver.

He said no one from the Police Department has been in contact with him since the accident was first reported.

“I would like them to let me know what’s going on,” Petersen said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541


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