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Man arrested on DUI charge after driving the wrong way on highway, hitting semi

RUGBY, N.D. -- A Towner, N.D., man who crashed into a semitrailer after driving the wrong way on U.S. Highway 2 near Rugby has been arrested for driving under the influence.

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Graphic by Carli Greninger/Grand Forks Herald

RUGBY, N.D. -- A Towner, N.D., man who crashed into a semitrailer after driving the wrong way on U.S. Highway 2 near Rugby has been arrested for driving under the influence.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol responded to a two-vehicle injury crash at about 7 p.m. Thursday on Highway 2 about 3 miles west of Rugby, according to a news release. Law enforcement determined Fred Kasmer Schell, 69, was driving a 2008 Chevrolet pickup west in the eastbound lane of the highway and almost collided head-on with a 2012 Peterbilt semitrailer driven by William Griffin, 45, Rugby. Griffin, who was driving east in the same lane, attempted to avoid the crash by turning into the median, but the pickup struck the trailer’s rear passenger tires, according to the release.

The semitrailer was hauling a tanker-style trailer with approximately 9,500 gallons of mixed fuel. Griffin’s evasive action prevented the tanker from being struck and breached, state troopers said in the statement.

The highway’s eastbound passing lane was closed for approximately three hours, according to the report.

Schell was taken to Heart of America Hospital in Rugby for minor injuries and later was arrested on a DUI charge. The release did not state how high Schell’s blood alcohol content was at the time of the crash, and a court date for the charge had not been set as of Thursday.

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It is unknown if Schell was wearing a seat belt. Griffin, who was wearing a seat belt, did not suffer injuries.

Schell does not appear to have a criminal record in Minnesota, though he has pleaded to several administrative traffic citations in North Dakota.

The Rugby Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and Rugby Fire Department also responded to the accident.

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