WHEN WE HEADED out for Fargo late Thursday morning northbound on Interstate 35, I never expected this to be anything but a long, five-hour road trip.
But we were only a half hour into our drive when we ran into rain and this scene along Interstate 35W near County Road 42 in Burnsville.
This bus ran off Interstate 35W in Burnsville Thursday morning.
Little did my husband, son and I know this bus crash would be just the first of three notable accidents that would occur along our route.
Thursday evening while traveling on a Fargo city street, we were caught in the middle of this scene in which a car rear-ended a bus.
And then the second accident involving a bus, on a Fargo city street.
Emergency personnel speak to the driver of the car, still inside the car, which rear-ended the bus.
But it got worse, way worse.
Friday afternoon, driving on Interstate 94 east of Moorhead around 4:30 p.m. we spotted dense black smoke in the distance.
“Looks like someone burning tires,” my husband said and we thought nothing more of it.
That is until traffic began to merge from the left lane into the right as the four-lane narrowed to two lanes in a bridge construction zone about one mile ahead. Traffic ground to a near-halt.
And then we realized, when the vehicles in the left lane began turning off the eastbound lanes onto a maintenance turn-around and driving back west that the smoke was the result of an accident on the interstate.
We followed the leader back west (westbound traffic was not leaving the accident site) and exited the interstate at the Sabin exit, pulling off a county road to figure out an alternative route.
It was then, while my husband and son were consulting maps, that I stepped from the van and shot this distant scene of smoke from a fiery head-on crash.
We pulled off Clay County Road 79, which runs along Interstate 94, to plot an alternative route. This was the scene unfolding before us as a result of the fiery head-on crash.
According to The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, an eastbound car driven by Roberta Haspel, 58, of Barnesville crossed into the westbound lane in a construction zone and collided head-on with a semi driven by Gary Sather, 65, of Bismarck. The semi went into the median and caught fire.
Haspel reportedly was airlifted from the scene and hospitalized in critical condition. The truck driver was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
It was an absolute relief to hear that no one was killed in this fiery crash.
I mean if you had seen the smoke…
As we drove on the Clay County Road 11 overpass over Interstate 94, I shot this photo. The interstate curves to the south.
Another shot from the Clay County Road 11 overpass as we followed an alternative route to Sabin. The westbound lanes of I-94 were also shut down and traffic rerouted off the interstate. Here you see eastbound traffic, which was reportedly backed up for seven miles all the way to Moorhead.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling