Crash involving Morton County Sheriff’s patrol vehicle

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Three people suffered minor injuries after a sideswipe crash involving a Morton County Sheriff’s patrol vehicle occurred on Memorial Highway in Mandan Thursday night.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol reports, a deputy for the Morton County Sheriff’s office identified as Damon Burkel, 25, was responding to an injury crash at the intersection of Memorial Highway and 46th Avenue SE in Mandan in a 2020 Ford Explorer patrol vehicle.

Burkel was traveling east in the left lane of Memorial Highway and slowed to make a U-turn at the intersection just west of the bridge. Before making the U-turn, Burkel deactivated his emergency lights.

As Burkel was making the turn, Naida Valandra,18, driving in a 2019 GMC Acadia exited Expressway heading east on Memorial Highway. Valandra’s vehicle struck the driver’s side of Burkel’s Explorer. Both vehicles came to rest in the east lane of Memorial Highway.

Valandra was driving with passenger Kennedy Brunelle, 18.

All people involved were wearing a seatbelt.

This crash remains under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

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