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Local family knows the dangers of beet trucks - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Local family knows the dangers of beet trucks

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Growers will be packing beets into trucks and selling them to be turned into sugar. If the weather doesn't interrupt the process, those trucks will be on the road 24 hours a day.

For anyone on the road, safety should be number one. Farmers should always check their equipment, especially the lights.

"Make sure they are clean, cause obviously sometimes they get dirt or muddy, walk around the truck to make sure you don't have a flat tire or a low tire," explains seasonal harvester Gerry Kluck.

And make sure both eyes are on the road.

"Part of life to have cell phones these days but, gosh it could really be distracting to what you are suppose to be doing, operating a vehicle, and watching what is around you and being able to react to it."

Beet trucks throw dirt, and when it rains, that dirt turns into mud, causing slippery road conditions.

"You can even see here how the dirt is drug up on the road here, and it's relatively dry," Kluck explains.

Brenda Gjesdal has a message about harvest safety, one that is held close to her heart. Her daughter, Annie, was killed almost four years ago.

"A beet truck made the decision to run the red light, and run into Annie, Annie was the second or third car to go through the intersection. When she was hit on the drivers door, you suffered two fatal blows, but a broken neck was one of them."

And she wants others to keep an eye out.

"If there is one lesson to be learned, you just have to constantly on the look out."

Because soon, there will be beet trucks on the road, at every intersection, at all hours of the day.

"Farm safety is very important, and I hope this never happens to another family, because it is the most horrible thing that you could imagine."

Last year, Brenda opened a coffee shop in honor of Annie. It's in Wahpeton, right along the river. When you walk in the door of the coffee shop, you will see a huge picture of Annie hanging on the wall.

Link to the coffee shop: http://antoinettesontheriver.com/index.html

Link to farming safety: https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/FarmFactS2.pdf

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