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Head-on truck accident kills two, injures one

A fiery truck accident on the North Dakota-Montana border has left two men dead and another seriously injured. The collision, which occurred on Highway 200 near the border, happened at about 8:15 p.m. on Feb. 3, according to local authorities.

A 34-year-old man was driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck with a 31-year-old passenger inside when the vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer rig. A 49-year-old driver was operating the 2005 Kenworth truck, according to official reports, when the smaller vehicle reportedly crossed the center line and struck the larger truck head-on. The Ford spun several times after the collision, eventually coming to rest in the middle of the road. The tractor-trailer rig spun into a ditch. Both vehicles lit on fire after the crash, and they were also both totaled.

The driver of the larger truck sustained injuries in the collision, though they appear to be nonlife threatening. He was taken to Fairview Hospital in Sidney for the treatment of his injuries.

In this case, an initial investigation seems to place the blame for the crash on the driver of the smaller vehicle. This may change as the investigation progresses, however. If the driver of the tractor-trailer rig is determined to be at fault, the families of the deceased victims would have a better chance of recovering financial damages in connection with the incident. Relatives could sue the truck driver individually as well as his employer and potentially the truck manufacturer.

If the driver of the Ford is determined to be at fault, both the tractor-trailer driver and the estate of the dead passenger could pursue civil compensation from that man's estate. The passenger in the Ford died because of the driver's negligent actions. The tractor-trailer driver could recover financial damages for medical costs and lost income, while relatives of the deceased victim could receive funds for wrongful death, along with funeral and legal costs.

Source: Willston Herald, "Two die after fiery accident," David Rupkalvis, Feb. 5, 2013.

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