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Adams, N.D., man swept into Park River still missing

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Late Sunday, law enforcement officers and others called off the search for an Adams, N.D., man missing and thought to have been swept away early Sunday morning in a flooded branch of the Park River west of the city of Park River, N.D., said Walsh County Sheriff Lauren Wild.

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He said the search will resume today for Jared Udby, 27, who was driving his full-size crew-cab 2008 Ford pickup truck when it was swept into deeper water on a crossing.

His two passengers, Greg Gustafson, 27, Adams, and Ashley Blasky, 21, Fordville, N.D., escaped and made it to shore, Wild said.

Wild said Udby apparently was driving when the three attempted to go over a "Texas crossing," on the Park River branch, on the west side of Homme Dam, four miles west and a half-mile north of Park River.

A Texas crossing is a fording spot, lined with small rocks and gravel, on a shallow stream.

The sheriff's office responded to a 911 call at 2:40 a.m. Sunday and found Gustafson and Blasky "OK," on shore, Wild said. Udby, who owns the pickup truck, had not been found.

The stream is known as the south branch of the Park River, which also has middle and north branches, Wild said.

Normally, the water across the Texas crossing is very shallow, but had from 3 to 6 feet of water over it Sunday, based on searchers' estimates, Wild said.

A gate had been put across the road at the site, closing off the crossing because of floodwaters, Wild said. It's not clear yet if someone else had tampered with it the gate and opened it, or how the three people were able to drive into the crossing, Wild said.

The crossing formerly had a bridge across the stream.

It's too risky to try and retrieve the pickup until the water goes down, Wild said.

The U.S. Border Patrol used a helicopter in the search, and the North Dakota Highway Patrol also aided, as well as the fire department and ambulance crew from Park River, according to Wild.

Firefighters searched on foot and using all-terrain vehicles, and a search dog also was used, in what is actually a fairly small, contained area, Wild said.

He said the search will continue until Udby, who is presumed to have drowned, is found.

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