Charges Pending Against Truck Driver After Fiery Crash With Stopped Police SUV
McKenzie County, North Dakota – Charges are pending against a truck driver who police say rear-ended a patrol vehicle severely injuring a deputy along Highway 1806.
The crash occurred on Friday, June 7 at approximately 9:40 a.m., according to the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said 24-year-old Natasha Skala, a McKenzie County Sheriff’s Deputy, was in a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicle and stopped along northbound Highway 1806 at mile marker 309, 2 miles north of Watford City.
Skala was waiting to make a left hand turn into a residential driveway, according to officials, when a 1998 Kenworth semi, driven by 57-year-old Michael Gritzan of Sidney, Montana, failed to slow and plowed into the back of the Tahoe.
The impact of the collision spun Skala’s Tahoe clockwise on the roadway until it came to a rest between the north and south bound lanes of Hwy 1806 facing northwest.
The SUV then burst into flames and was “completely engulfed” according to investigators.
Skala was successfully extricated from the vehicle and airlifted to a hospital in Bismarck having suffered life-threatening injuries.
Authorities have not provided an update on Skala’s condition since their initial accident report.
Gritzan was uninjured.
Investigators report the road conditions were “good” and the weather was “cloudy” at the time of the crash.
No reason has been given for why Gritzan failed to slow.
However, officials have indicated that charges against the truck driver are pending upon the completion of their investigation.
Transportation Nation Network will monitor any new developments.