ND Highway Patrol
What: Two vehicle commercial motor vehicle fatal crash Where: I-94 MM 336 Westbound, approximately 2 miles west of Mapleton
When: March 15th, 2023 at approximately 1:47 pm
Road Conditions: Dry pavement
Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy
Type of Crash: Rear end collision
Agencies Involved: NDHP, Cass County SO, Casselton FD, Casselton Ambulance, Mapleton FD, Fargo FD, NDDOT
Vehicle No. 1: 2020 Peterbilt semi towing a flatbed, curtain side trailer
Driver No. 1: 72 YOA male, British Columbia Canada - deceased Restraints: Unknown
Vehicle No. 2: 2014 Volvo semi towing a tanker trailer
Driver No. 2: Yuhai Zhu, 52 YOA, Richmond Hill, ON – no injuries Restraints: Unknown
Charges: On-going investigation
NARRATIVE: The Volvo semi was westbound on I-94 and had stopped for an unknown reason in lane two of westbound I-94. The Peterbilt semi approached the Volvo, swerved left, but rear ended the tanker trailer being towed by the Volvo.
As a result of the collision, the Volvo semi was pushed onto the westbound shoulder and partially into the ditch and came to rest facing west. The tanker trailer being towed by the Volvo was punctured and began to leak ethylene glycol from the puncture in the trailer. The Peterbilt came to rest across the westbound lane and partially into the median facing west. The Peterbilt caught fire because of the crash. The Peterbilt was hauling large HVAC equipment. Both vehicles remained upright after the collision.
The Mapleton and Casselton Fire Departments responded and extinguished the fire. After the fire was put out, it was discovered the driver of the Peterbilt was still in the cab and was deceased.
An estimated 6500-6700 gallons of ethylene glycol leaked from the tanker trailer into the north ditch along I-94. Ethyl glycol is green antifreeze and is not a hazard to the motoring public. An environmental company is being dispatched to remediate the glycol spill.
Eastbound I-94 was closed for approximately an hour after the crash. Westbound I-94 remains closed for the removal of the vehicles involved in the crash and will open when the vehicles are removed from the roadway. Traffic was detoured from these roadways at Mapleton and Casselton to ND State Hwy. 10. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the NDDOT assisted with these road closures and detour routes.
The Fargo Fire Department assisted on scene as part of the hazardous material response. The NDDOT assisted with containing the glycol spill in the ditch. The name of the deceased will be released during the evening on March 16th. This crash remains under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.