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22-year-old Grand Forks man dead, 1 injured in 2-vehicle accident

A two-vehicle accident in Grand Forks early Thursday left one man dead and another injured, police said.

The accident happened shortly after midnight when a 1994 Acura driven by Alexander Gabrysh, 22, of Grand Forks and Mandan, N.D., collided with a 2000 Toyota Celica driven by Ethan Jon Plemel, 21, of Grand Forks at Ninth Avenue South and South 20th Street.

Both drivers were taken by ambulance to Altru Medical Center, where Gabrysh was pronounced dead. Plemel was treated for injuries and released.

It appeared that neither man was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, Grand Forks Police Lt. Michael Ferguson said.

According to police, Gabrysh was traveling west on Ninth Avenue South and approaching the intersection with South 20th Street, where a stop sign controls traffic on the avenue. Gabrysh apparently “proceeded into the intersection and was struck” by the other vehicle.

There were no other occupants in either vehicle, Ferguson said.

It was the second motor vehicle fatality in two weeks in Grand Forks.

McCain Endres, 16, a Grand Forks Central High School student, died May 22 after sustaining injuries when his motorcycle collided with a car one block from the school, at North Sixth Street and Second Avenue North.

Grand Forks usually records between two and no traffic fatalities a year, Ferguson said, so having two in the first half of 2013 is concerning. The city had one fatality in 2012 and one in 2011, he said.

“Hopefully, we won’t have any more,” Ferguson said.

“We look at every motor vehicle crash, especially those involving injuries or fatalities, and try to identify trends,” he said. If crash investigations suggest that excessive speed, alcohol use, failure to yield, failure to use seatbelts or other contributing factors are occurring with some regularity, police will engage in “selective traffic enforcement” aimed at reversing those trends.

The department recently concluded a “Click it or ticket” seatbelt enforcement campaign, Ferguson said.

Police continue to investigate the latest accident and ask anyone who may have information to contact them at (701) 787-8000.

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