Potato truck hits train, injured driver hospitalized

A 32-year-old Richville man, Kenneth Dean Betts, was injured Sept. 27 when the potato truck he was driving was struck by a train in the city of Ottertail.

A 32-year-old Richville man, Kenneth Dean Betts, was injured Sept. 27 when the potato truck he was driving was struck by a train in the city of Ottertail.

The accident took place on Elevator Drive at 10:42 a.m.

According to the county sheriff report, multiple witnesses said the truck driver crossed the railroad tracks in front of the train without yielding.

"The truck was then pushed along the tracks in a northwesterly direction," said County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke.

The victim was taken by ambulance to the Perham hospital and then was transported to Sanford Hospital in Fargo.


Responders, in addition to sheriff deputies, included Ottertail Rescue, Perham EMS and members of the State Highway Patrol.

Underwood man injured near Bass Lake

Simon Hoffbeck, 19, of Underwood, was injured at 11:03 a.m. on Sept. 27 when he lost control of his vehicle near Bass Lake, on 226th Street, northwest of Underwood.

The vehicle, a 1989 Chevrolet Sport Van, struck a tree after leaving the roadway.

Sheriff deputies said the victim was airlifted to an area hospital.

Thefts reported

Several items were taken from a residence near Scalp Lake, north of Vergas. The incident was reported on Sept. 26.

Sheriff deputies had a suspect who likely was familiar with the location of the lake home.


Three trail cameras and a deer stand valued at $150 were taken from a location on 280th Avenue, near the east side of Maplewood State Park. This incident was called in to the sheriff's office on Sept. 26.

The trail cameras stolen included two Spy-Point game cameras and one Moultree brand game camera.

Three storage lockers southeast of Underwood were broken into. The location was along Highway 119. These incidents were reported on Sept. 26.

New sheriff deputy hired

County commissioners approved the hiring of a new county sheriff deputy on Tuesday, Sept. 26, during the county board's regular board meeting.

The new hire will work with narcotics investigations.

"Our office is swamped with more and more incidents taking place in Otter Tail County," said Sheriff Brian Schlueter to county commissioners.

In response, County Board Chairman Doug Huebsch of Perham said it's unfortunate to see increasing drug-related problems not only in Otter Tail County but also across the state and nation.


Narcotics includes plant-based products such as opium and its derivatives such as morphine, codeine and heroin.

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