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Beet truck crashes in East Grand Forks

A semi-trailer full of beets was probably going too fast Thursday afternoon in East Grand Forks, resulting in a flipped truck, spilled beets and a few stitches, according to police.

A beet truck on its side

A semi-trailer full of beets was probably going too fast Thursday afternoon in East Grand Forks, resulting in a flipped truck, spilled beets and a few stitches, according to police.

Police Lt. Rodney Hajicek said the investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but the driver of the Honek Farms truck is expected to be cited for driving too fast for conditions.

In this case, the 90-degree turn at the intersection of Polk County Road 19 and Fifth Avenue Northeast was the condition.

Gerardo Gonzalez, 18, Fisher, Minn., was the driver. He and a passenger were out of the truck by the time emergency personnel arrived, East Grand Forks Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Anderson said.

The crash occurred sometime after 1 p.m. Thursday.

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Gonzalez was taken from the scene by an employee of Honek Farms, near East Grand Forks, and will need "a few stitches," Hajicek said.

The crash was the second involving a beet truck on Thursday. Another wreck occurred earlier that morning on County Road 19, about 12 miles east of the scene of Gonzalez's crash, Anderson said.

The investigation of that wreck is being handled by the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office. Further information on the accident was not available by press time.

Just before 3 p.m. Thursday, a tow truck pulled the truck Gonzalez was driving upright, with half a load of beets still in the trailer. The other half was scooped up by a tractor operated by East Grand Forks city employees.

A Minnesota State Trooper on scene said truck drivers hauling beets from area farms to processing plants like American Crystal Sugar along Business U.S. Highway 2 are not required to have commercial driver's licenses.

Anderson provided words of caution at the scene of the crash Thursday afternoon spoken time and again by police and other first responders: "Slow down, and take your time."

Call Glawe at (701) 780-1114, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1114 or send email to jglawe@gfherald.com , follow him on Twitter at @JustinGlawe or see his blog at heralding.areavoices.com.

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Related Topics: ACCIDENTSEAST GRAND FORKS
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