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N.D. trooper hit while in car on I-29 near Hillsboro

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region Park Rapids,Minnesota 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
N.D. trooper hit while in car on I-29 near Hillsboro
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A North Dakota Highway Patrol officer's car was hit while he was inside it Sunday afternoon, directing traffic on Interstate 29 near Hillsboro where six vehicles already were in the ditch.


According to the Patrol, Trooper Kyle Stern, 40, of Hillsboro, was parked on the median shoulder of the northbound lanes of I-29 about 3:45 p.m. Sunday, with his emergency lights flashing, just north of mile marker 102.

He was in the 2010 Ford Crown Victoria directing traffic as a wrecker was working on towing six vehicles in the median and ditch at the location.

The roadway was covered with ice and snow, which was falling and blowing.

Reid Kemp, 18, of Hamilton, N.D., approached from the south, lost control of the 2004 Pontiac he was driving and began spinning on the roadway. His Pontiac's driver's side bumper hit the right rear bumper of Stern's Ford.

Kemp left the scene after the accident and may face charges. Both vehicles had slight damage. Nobody was hurt, according to the Patrol. Both men were wearing seat belts,and no airbags deployed, according to the Patrol's report.

There were four or five minor vehicle crashes, mostly on U.S. Highway 2 west of Grand Forks, and three vehicles in the ditch on I-29 a few miles south of Grand Forks Sunday afternoon, said Trooper Steve Nicola, who responded to several of the incidents.

Nobody was hurt, but the snowy, blowing conditions made the roads slick, he said.

"I requested (DOT) send out trucks to throw some sand on Interstate," Nicola said Sunday evening. As the snowfall stopped by late afternoon, road conditions improved but packed snow and ice remained on many roads, he said.

Two weeks ago, the Minnesota State Patrol put out a special plea for caution at a news conference in St. Paul, after eight troopers were hit by vehicles on Minnesota roads in a three-day stretch. It brought the total of such crashes to 31 in Minnesota since November, the Patrol said, up from 13 the previous year for the same period.

A Walcott, N.D., man, Lowell Balk, 50, died in early January after being hit by a vehicle while walking to help another motorist in a multi-vehicle collision Dec. 30 on I-94 just west of Fargo.