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Grafton mayor, family injured in crash

GRAFTON, N.D. — The mayor of Grafton and his family were injured Friday night in a fiery head-on collision on an icy highway, the North Dakota Highway Patrol reported.

Mayor Chris West, 43, was driving a 2012 GMC pickup east on North Dakota Highway 17 east of Grafton at about 8:20 p.m. Friday when the vehicle was struck by a 2000 Dodge van operated by Kenneth Oliver, 36, of Grand Forks, the patrol said.

Oliver’s westbound vehicle had slid on the icy roadway into the path of West’s vehicle, striking it head-on, the patrol said. After all occupants left the pickup, the vehicle started on fire.

West and his wife, Ann, and two juvenile daughters were transported to Unity Medical Center in Grafton, where they were treated for injuries and released.

Oliver, who also was transported to Unity Hospital for treatment, was cited with care required, according to the report.

The patrol said the roadway was covered with compacted snow and ice at the time of the accident, which remains under investigation.

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