Weather Forecast


House mover recovering from serious injury in Oxbow accident

An excavator sits perched above metal beams in Oxbow, N.D., on Tuesday, Sept. 5. House mover Bob Schmidt suffered a serious leg injury here after one of the beams landed on him. Robin Huebner/The Forum

OXBOW, N.D. — A house mover from Kindred, N.D., is hospitalized with a serious leg injury after a 13,000-pound metal beam fell on him here.

Bob Schmidt, 53, was part of a crew moving the beam about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, in the area of Oxbow where homes are being moved or demolished to make way for a ring dike as part of the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project.

Schmidt is reported to be in fair condition after undergoing surgery at Essentia Health in Fargo.

Schmidt's son, John Schmidt, said his dad is in a lot of pain, but managing. "It was pretty bad. He had bones sticking out of the skin," John Schmidt said about his father.

John Schmidt said workers were setting one beam on top of other beams when soft ground shifted, causing the top beam to slide off.

His father wasn't able to move in time, and his right leg was pinned. Medics took him to the hospital in an ambulance.

The impact broke the leg in multiple places and tore muscle and arteries, but nerves seem to be intact, his son said.

Bob Schmidt will have another surgery in a few days to have a plate inserted, and if everything heals correctly, he shouldn't lose his leg, his son said.

The family runs Schmidt & Sons Building Movers, and is moving many of the houses from the flood prone area of Oxbow, a town about 15 miles south of Fargo.

John Schmidt said his dad is safety conscious and that the company is fortunate this kind of thing hasn't happened before.

"We do it every single day, and everything we work with is thousands of pounds," John Schmidt said.