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Grand Forks man injured when pinned between vehicles on DeMers Avenue

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region Park Rapids,Minnesota 56470
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Grand Forks man injured when pinned between vehicles on DeMers Avenue
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A Grand Forks man was seriously injured when he was pinned between his parked pickup truck and a car coming from behind him on DeMers Avenue Sunday night.


According to Sgt. Kevin Kallinen of the Grand Forks Police Department, Michael Hart, 37, stopped his small 1996 Chevy pickup truck on DeMers Avenue just west of Columbia Road, in the right lane, at 7:38 p.m. Sunday to pick up a child's stroller that had fallen out of the box of the truck.

A 1999 Ford Taurus driven by Karen Vatnsdal, 52, Grand Forks, in the same westbound north lane slammed into Hart and pinned him briefly between the tailgate of his pickup and the Taurus before the impact separated the two vehicles.

Hart appeared to be seriously injured, Kallinen said, and was transported to Altru Hospital. A nursing supervisor would not release any information on Hart's condition.

Vatsndal was cited for drunk driving, driving with a suspended license and having no liability insurance on the car.

Justin Teague, a passenger in Vatsndal's car, also from Grand Forks, also was intoxicated and was arrested for disorderly conduct, Kallinen said.

"He was wrestling with a guy who had stopped to check on the accident and then he was wrestling with (police) officers."

Vatsndal and Teague were in the Grand Forks County jail Sunday night, awaiting court appearances Monday.

Hart's children, a boy, 6, and a girl, 7 months old, were riding in the cab of the pickup and uninjured, Kallinen said. A relative was caring for the children Sunday night.

The Taurus' air bags went off and it was badly damaged; the pickup less damaged, Kallinen said.

Grand Forks firefighters spent a couple hours or more cleaning up engine fluids from the scene