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Minot man dies in multiple vehicle crash near Velva

VELVA – One person died and several people were injured in a four-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 52, about four miles west of Velva, on Friday afternoon.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol said a 2019 Chevrolet Trax SUV and 2017 Chevrolet Impala car were both eastbound on the highway. A 2018 Nissan Titan pickup and 2020 Ram 1500 pickup were westbound on the highway.

The Trax struck the rear of the Impala as the Trax changed lanes to pass. The Impala and Trax both spun out on the roadway and the Trax was struck broadside by the Nissan. The Impala came to rest in the east ditch. The rear portion of the Trax came to rest in the west ditch. The front portion of the Trax came to rest on the east shoulder. The Nissan came to rest broadside on the center line of the highway.

The Ram, originally traveling directly behind the Nissan, turned into the east ditch to evade the Trax and Nissan but was struck by debris and ran over a delineator post.

The driver of the Trax, Brent Johnson, 61, Minot, was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Trinity Hospital.

Casey Savelkoul, 26, Minot, a passenger in the Trax, Christopher Wherley, 48, Velva, driving the Nissan and a juvenile male passenger, and Diana Cervantes, 19, Minot, a passenger in the Impala, were taken by ambulance to Trinity Hospital in Minot. The driver of the Impala, Caleb Hegseth, 20, Minot, declined to be transported and did not appear to be injured, the patrol said in a news release. The occupants of the Ram, Nicole Ramage, 36, and Troy Ramage, 59, both of Columbus, were not injured.

All occupants of the vehicles were wearing their seat belts, the patrol said.

The crash happened about 3:20 p.m. The highway was closed for investigation and cleanup for nearly four hours. Traffic was rerouted onto county roads and N.D. Highway 41.

Besides Highway Patrol, sheriff departments from McHenry and Ward counties, fire departments from Velva and Sawyer, and ambulances from Velva and Minot responded to the crash.

The crash is being investigated by the N.D. Highway Patrol.

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