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Forum News Service, Published January 28 2014

Grafton mayor, family hurt in fiery head-on accident

The mayor of Grafton, N.D., and his family were injured in a fiery head-on collision on an icy highway Friday night.

According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Chris West, 43, was driving a 2012 GMC pickup eastbound on North Dakota Highway 17 east of Grafton at about 8:20 p.m. Friday when the vehicle was struck by a 2000 Dodge van operated by Kenneth Oliver, 36, Grand Forks.

According to the report, Oliver’s westbound vehicle had slid on the icy roadway into the path of West’s vehicle, striking it head-on. After all occupants exited the pick-up, the vehicle started on fire.

West and his wife, Ann, and two juvenile daughters were transported to Unity Medical Center in Grafton, where they were treated for injuries and released.

Oliver, who also was transported to Unity Hospital for treatment, was cited with care required, according to the report.

The Highway Patrol said the roadway was covered with compacted snow and ice at the time of the accident, which remains under investigation.