Posted 4/07/15 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
Chalk up another major accident on the deadliest stretch of highway in North Dakota.
On Friday, April 3, a McKenzie County Ambulance Service ambulance was seriously damaged when it collided with another vehicle at the junction of U.S. Highway 85 and N.D. 68, south of Alexander.
According to Tyler Lautenschlager, McKenzie County Ambulance Service administrator, the accident occurred at approximately 7:24 p.m., when the ambulance was attempting a left-hand turn onto U.S. Highway 85 when it was struck by a southbound vehicle.
“The ambulance was transporting a woman and a four-month-old infant to Williston with its emergency lights on at the time,” stated Lautenschlager. “Our driver was unable to see the oncoming traffic because other traffic on the highway had yielded and pulled over to give the ambulance access to the highway.”
According to Lautenschlager, it was fortunate that none of the ambulance crew, which consisted of a driver, an EMT and a paramedic, nor the mother and infant on board were injured.
“If the ambulance had been farther into the intersection, the accident could very well have resulted in serious injuries,” states Lautenschlager. “Fortunately, everyone was fine. We can always buy a new ambulance.”
Lautenschlager does not know whether or not the 2014 ambulance will be totalled by the insurance company.
“The front end of the ambulance is definitely destroyed,” stated Lautenschlager. “Whether or not the entire unit will be totalled is up to someone else.”
According to Lautenschlager, the junction of U.S. Highway 85 and N.D. 68 is one of the most dangerous intersections in McKenzie County.
“The speed of the traffic on U.S. Highway 85 and the lack of traffic lights at that junction all contribute to the number of accidents that we see there,” stated Lautenschlager. “And unfortunately, there are going to be more at that junction unless something is done.”