Just two drivers were involved in the three-truck Tuesday crash shortly after 4 p.m. on U.S. Highway 83 near its intersection with Ward County Road 18, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Lowell Larson, 84, Minot, was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck hauling an anhydrous ammonia tank at about 20 mph on the inside northbound lane of the highway. He was preparing to merge into the left lane to turn west onto Ward County Road 18 when the ammonia tank was struck by a 2012 Dodge Ram, driven by Ernie Blackwell Jr., 32, Greenfield, Tenn., hauling another pickup on a dolly.
According to the patrol, Blackwell had his cruise control set somewhere between 65 and 70 mph and was closely following a car in front of him. The car merged right, apparently avoiding the tank, but Blackwell was unable to avoid it.
The tank frame broke in half and the tank rolled into the median and began to leak. An employee from Dakota Midland Grain was able to slow the leak.
Blackwell was transported to Trinity Hospital in Minot with head injuries and was cited for following too close.