GRAND FORKS — "I did not see anything crazy, he was driving fine to me," explained Aurora Molina, who witnessed a fatal accident that occurred on Hwy 2 Friday, July 2.
She said nothing concerned her as she was either behind or in front of the semi for nearly 20 miles. But that changed when she moved over into the right turn lane. Seven other cars heading east had stopped at the traffic light.
"When I looked up in the mirror I was like 'My God, this guy isn't stopping'. All of a sudden I hear bang bang bang. I just saw a boat fly over the vehicle," said Molina.
If she had not decided to turn, she would have been the first car hit. Seeing the crash in her rearview mirror she hit the gas as she turned.
"When I saw the semi coming toward the ditch I was like I'm gone. He's going to hit me straight on," said Molina.
However, the semi got stuck in the ditch. Seven other cars, along with two boats and a trailer, were crushed on the highway. One of the drivers was killed at crash site. Molina said the driver of the truck seemed to be driving fine to her, however, troopers say about five minutes before the crash someone called 911 to report the truck for driving recklessly. He was hauling asphalt for the roadwork. Troopers say he is talking with them from his hospital bed.
"It was failing to maintain a single lane of travel, swerving and hitting the rumble strips alerting motorists that are not within their lanes," said Sergeant Jeff Bauske with the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
The crash shutdown Highway 2 for nearly six hours, forcing hundreds of cars to take gravel roads to get around. A pickup taking one of the detours was sawed in half when it was struck by a train. The 34-year-old driver from Langdon has life-threatening injuries. The crossing does not have arms. Other drivers say it was hard to see the train due to all the dust.
"Oh, that is unbelievable, unbelievable, I hope whoever was driving it is going to be ok," said Doris Ashely as she looked at the pickup across the street from her home.
Molina said she is still shaken up by what she witnessed.
"I still feel like throwing up. I still cant believe it. I am so lucky to get out of there without any scratches," said Molina.
Troopers are working with the Grand Forks County prosecutor to decide what charges, if any, will be filed against the semi driver. A decision may take a few weeks.