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Head-on crash kills Ohio man

A head-on collision claimed the life of an Ohio man at about 9 p.m. Thursday in Walsh County near Grafton, N.D., according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Douglas Pessefall, 49, of Sherwood, Ohio, was driving a 1987 Pontiac south in the left lane of the northbound side of Interstate 29 about six miles south of the Grafton exit.

Max Johnson, 23, of Walhalla, N.D., was driving a 2008 GMC 2500 pickup north in the left lane of the northbound side in the same location.

The two vehicles collided, and the Pontiac slid sideways in the median, rolling several times. The GMC pickup slid sideways across the northbound lanes and came to rest in the east ditch. Both vehicles sustained severe damage.

Pessefall, who was wearing a seat belt, was declared dead at the scene, the patrol said.

Johnson’s airbag deployed, and he was also wearing his seat belt. He sustained minor injuries, and Valley Ambulance transported him to Altru Hospital, Grand Forks, where he was treated and released.

The Walsh County Sheriff’s Office and Grafton Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation, the patrol said.