Update: Names Released in Jamestown Crash - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Update: Names Released in Jamestown Crash

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Thursday 3:30 PM Update

The North Dakota Highway Patrol released the names of the six men killed in a pickup-semi crash on Interstate-94 Wednesday morning. The six construction workers riding in the 2002 Chevrolet pickup are identified as:

  • Martin Zuniga, 47, Republic, Missouri
  • Mayolo Lopez, 51, Springfield, Missouri
  • Albino Falicia Martinez, 43, Springfield, Missouri
  • Epitacio Acosta Padron, 50, Springfield, Missouri
  • Jose Isabel Avila, 54, Springfield, Missouri
  • Herson Orellana, 34, Nixa, Missouri

None of the six men were wearing seat belts.

Updated 9:00 PM Wednesday

A horrific crash on I94 in Jamestown leaves six out of state constructions workers dead. A pick up lost control on ice and slid into the other lane. The highway patrol says they believe all the men were construction workers from out of state, not even from the tri-state area. They aren't sure where they were heading, but they're in the process of finding that out and notifying loved ones. While icy roads played a factor in the crash, there is one safety feature that could have helped prevent the severity of the crash.

It's a busy day on the road and the day after Christmas proved to be icy.

Captain Bryan Niewind with the North Dakota State Patrol says, "There was a little light snow falling this morning and the roads were actually pretty icy."

They also proved to be dangerous.

Captain Niewind says, "Half dozen to a dozen maybe cars in the ditch in areas."

Six construction workers were heading west on I94 when they hit an ice patch and lost control, they went through the ditch and were struck on the passenger side by a semi and died.

Captain  Niewind says, "We're not sure if the vehicle was traveling too fast or had the cruise control on or, we have determined a speed yet."

Something that could have helped prevent the severity of the crash is cable median barriers. Which brings up the question, should more of these be on our busy roads?

Captain Niewind says, "You know, it could have helped. It just depends on how fast that truck was going and certain circumstances."

Median barriers have been proven to prevent vehicle from crossing into the other lane, but many North Dakota roads are without them.

Captain Niewind says, "The DOT does different studies with their engineers to see how they can make the roads safer, and that may be one of them."

Safety precautions that could potentially save lives.

Captain Niewind says, "We don't have very many of those a year, so, would it have helped? Yes, but for the cost, I don't know what the cost is for that."

One example of how well median barriers work is when they were installed in Washington state a few years ago. The Department of Transportation says state highways saw a 59% decrease in deadly or serious crashes after putting in nearly 200 miles of barriers.

The highway patrol says in today's crash, they believe the driver could have had the cruise control on. They want to remind people to never use cruise control when roads have any potential for ice.


Six people were killed in a crash on I-94 at Jamestown around 10:30 Wednesday morning. The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a pickup heading west lost control on the icy interstate, crossed the median and was "t-boned" by a semi.

The semi was heading east and hit the pickup's passenger side. The six men killed were all in the pickup, three of the men were thrown from the pickup. The driver of the semi trailer, a 23-year-old man from Glen Ullin, North Dakota, was taken to Jamestown hospital with what are described as "non-life threatening" injuries.

The crash shut down the eastbound lanes of the Interstate for about 2 hours and traffic was re-routed around the crash. Names of the 6 men killed are being withheld until family members are notified.

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