The North Dakota Highway Patrol says three men were killed and three injured in a fiery crash that occurred at 6:40 a.m. Friday. The location of the accident was three miles east of Stanley on U.S. Highway 2.
The crash involved six vehicles, including a Peterbilt semi and tanker trailer loaded with crude oil. The tanker trailer exploded as a result of the crash. According to the Highway Patrol report, the vehicles involved burned for approximately five hours.
The names of those killed will not be released until positive identification is made, a process which the Highway Patrol says could take up to one week. The dead are listed as the driver of a 2013 GMC Sierra, a 26-year-old man from Wahpeton, and a 23-year-old male passenger; and the driver of a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup, age 41, from Minot.
Emergency personnel survey the scene of a major accident on U.S. Highway 2 three miles east of Stanley Friday afternoon. The crash is thought to have happened at about 6:40 a.m. under heavy fog conditions. Three people died in the crash and subsequent fire, while three others were injured.
Injured included Ricky Hovland, 54, Minot, the driver of a 2013 Ford F150; Vernon Wright, 49, Hiram, Georgia, the driver of a 2004 Peterbilt pulling a 2012 Polar Tanker trailer; and John Ofsthun Sr., 55, Granville, the driver of a 2012 Freightliner Vac Truck.
According to the Highway Patrol, the Peterbilt tanker was eastbound and in the process of turning north across the westbound lane and onto a gravel road when the accident occurred. All other vehicles involved were westbound.
The accident remains under investigation.