Officials respond to accident

 By Kay Braddock

        It wasn’t icy conditions that caused a 2009 Chevy Tahoe to slam into a guardrail as it headed westbound on I-94. According to 21-year-old driver Tyler Eckman, it was a bag of cookies. 

Thankfully all four occupants were wearing seatbelts when the accident occurred between Terry and Fallon, resulting in a totaled vehicle but nothing worse.   
Eckman said he became distracted when a bag of cookies fell from the dashboard on to the floor. He signaled for his sleeping friend Dalton Adams, a passenger in the front seat, to pick up the cookies, but when Adams didn’t respond, Eckman leaned down to pick up the bag. The vehicle was just coming up over a hill at the time, Eckman said. When he looked back up they were driving into a curve.
“Once the dust settled it was us and the guardrail,” Eckman said.
Adams added, “I woke up to see my face in the windshield.”
A 55-foot strip of guardrail stuck through the back end of the driver’s side of the vehicle, according to Prairie County sheriff Bill Klunder. And again, as fate would have it, no one was sitting in that particular seat, because seat belt or not, anyone sitting in that seat would have been seriously injured.
The four, from Bismarck, were traveling to Big Sky for a skiing trip. Caravaning with others the four said that although this dampened and slowed their trip considerably they would likely continue on their journey.

Published Jan. 6, 2009

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