Fatality on Hwy. 85 raises concerns

2009-11-26T02:00:00Z Fatality on Hwy. 85 raises concernsBy LAUREN DONOVAN Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune
November 26, 2009 2:00 am  • 

A young Watford City woman died Tuesday night in a two-vehicle collision about one mile north of Grassy Butte on Highway 85, a heavily trafficked road that runs through the oil patch and the Badlands.

Amy Marie Svihovec, 23, was driving a vehicle that collided head-on with a sport utility vehicle coming the other direction.

The Highway Patrol says icy roads could have contributed to the crash, which remains under investigation.

A passenger with Svihovec and the occupants of the other vehicle, including an infant, were taken to area hospitals and their conditions are unknown, the patrol said.

Concerns about traffic safety throughout the oil patch are highlighted by the accident, which is the second in several months to claim a life on that particular stretch of highway.

Connie Wold, 46, of Watford City died in August when a semi truck driver turned off Highway 85 into an intersection she was pedaling through while training for an athletic competition.

Svihovec was a 2004 Watford City High School graduate and had been living in Denver.

Her mother, Linda Svihovec, is the McKenzie County treasurer, and county auditor Francis Olson said Wednesday was a very somber day in the courthouse.

“We’re all walking around here not knowing what to do,” Olson said.

Linda Svihovec had participated Tuesday in a meeting with Department of Transportation officials and others regarding a phase one study of Highway 85, which is being promoted to become a super two-lane highway as part of a much longer Theodore Roosevelt Expressway.

As part of her duties, she handles permits for overweight and oversized trucks for oil-producing counties.

The highway has depressed wheel tracks where water collects.

Cal Klewin of Bowman is heading up the expressway concept for North Dakota and also was at the meeting.

“This shows our expressway association needs to keep moving forward on safety concerns and take a look at the potential increase in traffic from tourism and energy,” he said. “This is getting out of hand.”

Klewin said people are avoiding Highway 85. “If there’s another route, they’ll take it,” he said.

Elsewhere in the oil patch, accident deaths have occurred along Highway 23 in the New Town and Parshall vicinity. There, Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Marcus Levings has met with local and state highway officials to start talks about turning the two-lane into a four-lane to prevent future fatalities as oil activity increases.

Amy Svihovec’s funeral arrangements are being handled by Fulkerson Funeral Home of Watford City.

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. MotherC
    Report Abuse
    MotherC - December 07, 2009 3:54 pm
    My son was killed on Hwy 85 on October 4th, 2009. Benjamin Cotton. I can't tell you the pain that it has caused and now another beautiful child has died. Who is responsible?
  2. IMC3PO
    Report Abuse
    IMC3PO - November 27, 2009 1:49 pm
    This is a tragic accident. But I have to say that people have been dying on Hwy 23 for about two years now and there has not been a big deal made about it until this accident on Hwy 85. Both roads need to be four lanes like 83. The oil truck traffic will be going for quite a few years. Something needs to be done - start using the oil revenue taxes to fix them. Don't send any money to the universities in the east until our roads are fixed.
  3. Lefty Lucy
    Report Abuse
    Lefty Lucy - November 26, 2009 9:37 am
    I have traveled that road often for work and I can tell you that it is a scary ride. MOST truck drivers are safe and careful but there are some who are not..passing when it is not safe...tailgating when you are not going fast enough and they can't pass...but it is the oilfield pickups that are the ones to watch out for. They are always in a hurry to get somewhere fast. They speed well over 80 and the road itself needs a lot of help.

    I am not really thrilled about a 4 lane super highway being built on the 85 corridor but that may be exactly what we need. It will be a big PITA (pain in the ***) and eminent domain will probably have to be used, which I normally HATE...but this road is a danger to everyone who travels it.

    There have been so many fatalities on 85 and on 23 that we need to widen or turn them into 4 lanes.

    I don't know Mrs Svihovec but have talked to her at the courthouse and on the phone for my work...my condolences to you and your family. I am terribly sorry you have lost a daughter. My heart goes out to you.

    Safe travels to all who are on the road to somewhere for the Thanksgiving holiday. My own daughter is traveling home. PLEASE BUCKLE UP.
  4. dlawlar
    Report Abuse
    dlawlar - November 26, 2009 9:15 am
    As a person who lives right in the middle of Highway 23 and 85,we have to take one or the other and it is getting scary to go anywhere..We desperately need some help for our highways. My husband is a truckdriver in the oildfield and most of them are safe drivers,but the road conditions do play a part in these accidents..
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Featured Ads

View All Ads