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Semi driver stalled on tracks jumps out of harm's way as train smashes his truck near Fairmount

FAIRMOUNT, N.D. —— A 30-year-old truck driver from Breckenridge, Minn., jumped out of his semi to avoid being hit by an oncoming train Monday, July 17.

Patrick Carstensen was driving a 2013 Kenworth semi that the Richland County Sheriff's Office reported a total loss after responding to the railroad crossing at Highway 127 by Fairmount.

About 2:30 p.m., Carstensen told deputies that he was going north on the highway when the railroad crossing arms came down on the cab of the semi. Carsten said he stopped "and in doing so the semi shut down," Richland County reports in a press release.

"The driver, while trying to restart the semi, observed the train coming toward him so he jumped out of the semi and out of harm's way," the release states. "The train struck the semi causing it to jackknife."

The semi was towed to Lillegards, a farm equipment supplier in Wahpeton. The train and crossing arm were both damaged, though an estimate of how much it will cost for both to be repaired is unknown, the release stated.

The incident remains under investigation.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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