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Grand Forks County road reopens after semi crashes, spills hot tar

Emergency responders work to clean up a semi crash scene where hot tar was spilled Wednesday afternoon east of Thompson, N.D. (April Baumgarten/Grand Forks Herald)

THOMPSON, N.D. -- A Grand Forks County road reopened Wednesday night after a semi carrying hot tar tipped over near Thompson, forcing officials to close the highway to traffic.

County Road 7 reopened at 8 p.m., about 6 1/2 hours after the crash forced law enforcement to close it.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol has taken over the investigation into what caused the crash Wednesday afternoon on the road about 7 miles east of Thompson. Troopers determined a 21-year-old male driver of a 2011 Volvo semi was eastbound on the road when the vehicle partially left the paved street on the right side, according to a news release. The semi tipped onto its right side and slid into the south ditch, the release said.

The trailer that was hauling the hot tar was punctured, spilling its load onto the road and into the ditch, a trooper at the scene said. It’s unknown how many gallons spilled, but crews closed the county road between Sixth and Eighth Streets Northeast as they cleaned up the scene.

The driver of the semi was taken to Altru Hospital as a result of the rollover. His injuries were unknown as of Wednesday evening, and his name was not released.

Staff from the Salvation Army and Grand Forks County Emergency Management and Thompson Fire Department also were at the scene.