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Transit van crashes into VC restaurant

A hole in the wall at Valley City's Pizza Corner restaurant was temporarily patched on Wednesday night after a South Central Transit Network van slid into the building. Valley City Police said the accident was due to icy road conditions and only the driver suffered minor injuries. (David Luessen / The Sun)

By David Luessen, The Jamestown Sun

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — A South Central Transit Network driver suffered minor injuries when the transit van he was driving plowed through a wall of the Pizza Corner restaurant shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Valley City Police Sgt. Dave Swenson said the accident was due to icy road conditions.

“Nobody got hurt seriously. Where the building was hit, there’s a booth there and nobody was there. That’s so lucky,” Swenson said.

The driver, Mark Ostgarden, suffered bruises and was treated and released from Mercy Hospital in Valley City that night. There were no passengers in the van and no one in the restaurant was injured.

Eric Triebold, owner of Main Street Car Wash and Detailing located one block away from Pizza Corner, witnessed the accident and towed away the vehicle.

“He had slid and hit another vehicle, then went into the corner of Pizza Corner’s building, took out the whole wall, window, caved in the whole front of the minivan — the rescue squad had to cut him out of there,” Triebold said.

Denise Olson, a supervisor at Pizza Corner, said she and two others were behind the front counter at the time of the accident, and the restaurant was able to carry on with business as usual.

“We just had the customers use a different door,” Olson said.

The transit network is owned and operated by South Central Senior Services and provides services in the counties of Barnes, Emmons, Foster, Griggs, LaMoure, Logan and McIntosh. SCSS Director Patricia Hansen said Ostgarden has about five years of experience with the company, and the roads the 46 other drivers have encountered since freezing rain fell on Friday have not been good.

“It’s really icy in town where he hit,” Hanson said. “It’s just glare ice out there and it doesn’t take much to slide on that.”

Hansen said the transit network runs to Bismarck and Fargo every day and also travels to Carrington, Cooperstown and the South Dakota border. With a fleet of 31 vehicles, she didn’t expect service to be disrupted.

It’s going to short us in Valley City for a while, but we’ll probably be able to make up the service. We have some older back-up vehicles we can use,” she said.

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at