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Woman pulled from burning car after crash north of Grand Forks

David Jensen had parked along Grand Forks County Highway 11 with the emergency blinkers on. He'd stopped to send text messages on his cell phone when a car going around the bend crashed head-on into his SUV.

David Jensen had parked along Grand Forks County Highway 11 with the emergency blinkers on. He'd stopped to send text messages on his cell phone when a car going around the bend crashed head-on into his SUV.

According to the state Highway Patrol report, the car then started on fire and the woman behind the wheel, Tracy Ludwig, was injured and unconscious.

Jensen, who was also injured, managed to pull the woman to safety before "the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames," the report said.

"I got the door open, undid her seat belt and dragged her 50, 60 feet from the vehicle," Jensen told the Star Tribune newspaper. "Then it just blew, just engulfed itself."

Ludwig, 49, Fisher, Minn., remained at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks Monday morning, according to the patrol's report. Her injuries are not considered life threatening. Altru said Monday night that she was in satisfactory condition.

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Ludwig was cited for driving under the influence, the report said.

Jensen, 25, Meckinock, N.D., was also taken to Altru but treated and released.

The accident happened around 10:25 p.m. at a bend in Highway 11. The Chevy Blazer Jensen was driving faced south. Ludwig was northbound in a Dodge Stratus but failed to negotiate the curve, causing the car to cross the center line and strike the Chevy.

After pulling Ludwig to safety, Jensen told the Star Tribune, he noted that the fire was spreading toward the SUV. Using extra clothes in the vehicle he went to smother the flames.

The Highway Patrol reported that both vehicles had to be towed away. The Dodge was totaled and burned out.

Jensen, whose face was bloodied and arms burned from the airbag in the SUV, told the Star Tribune he was able to come to work putting up Sheetrock Monday morning. "I wasn't trying to be a hero," he said. "But we didn't need no one dying over it."

The patrol said its investigation continues.

Related Topics: ACCIDENTS
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