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Forum News Service, Published August 27 2013

Woman charged after train strikes unattended car near Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS - A woman was arrested early Tuesday after the car she had been driving was struck by a train along North Washington Street, just outside of Grand Forks.

Tamara Michael, 52, El Dorado Hills, Calif., was charged after the accident, which was reported at 1:21 a.m., the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

According to the report, an unoccupied 2013 Subaru was struck by a southbound BNSF train near the intersection of North Washington Street and 23rd Avenue Northeast.

While responding, deputies were informed that no one was in the vehicle, according to the report. As they arrived on the scene, they learned that a woman was walking southbound on North Washington, just a short distance from the scene.

Deputies brought Michael back to the scene, where they determined that she had been the driver of the car, according to the report.

Evidence at the scene indicated that the driver, who was not injured, was driving the vehicle northbound on Washington Street when she missed a curve in the road, according to the report. After driving off the road, she then turned to the west, well past the intersection of the road and the railroad track.

The vehicle then became stuck on the railroad tracks, according to the report. After unsuccessfully trying to free the vehicle, she left the scene and started walking.

The car then was struck by the southbound train.

The woman was charged with actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, according to the report.

She was taken to the Grand Forks County Correctional Center. She was released on bond later.

The Subaru sustained heavy damage from the crash, as well as from driving off the road, the report said.

U.S. Border Patrol agents assisted at the scene.