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Man faces murder charge for allegedly running over pedestrian 3 times outside Mandan school

Wade Carlton Bison was charged with murder for allegedly causing the death of 77-year-old Erwin Geigle by running into and over him multiple times with his truck, according to charges filed on Wednesday, March 23.

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A booking photo of Wade Bison in July 2021.
Special to The Forum
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BISMARCK — A 39-year-old man has been charged with murder in the hit-and-run death of a Mandan man near the city's high school on Monday, March 21, which multiple students and teachers allegedly witnessed.

Wade Carlton Bison was charged with murder for allegedly killing 77-year-old Erwin Geigle by running into and over him multiple times with his truck, according to charges filed on Wednesday, March 23. Bison was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and terrorizing.

Bison allegedly rammed Geigle into the side of the All Seasons Arena next to the Mandan High School. Multiple students and adults were in the vicinity, which prompted the high school to go into lockdown, according to court filings.

In viewing surveillance footage, law enforcement said they saw Geigle exit his red pickup parked near the All Seasons Arena at around 7:22 a.m., the affidavit states. Geigle is then seen walking toward the arena entrance.

The affidavit alleges the white pickup "makes a sharp turn" and is seen driving toward where Geigle is crossing. At 7:25 a.m., the video shows the white pickup back up and drive straight forward three times before exiting the parking lot.

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Several students were leaving the area after sport practices and saw the truck hit Geigle. Teachers and parents who were dropping off their students also witnessed the incident, according to the affidavit.

Multiple witnesses said the white pickup quickly left the Mandan High School and All Seasons Arena parking lot, and one teacher told law enforcement that "had she been two seconds slower, she would also have been hit" by the pickup, the affidavit states.

One parent, who was a nurse, told law enforcement she saw an injured, unresponsive man near where the truck crashed into the side of the arena and attempted to help him, but "she could not do anything for him at that time, indicating he was deceased," the affidavit states.

Authorities noted Geigle had visible trauma on his body, "including tire tread marks on his abdomen," the affidavit alleges.

One juvenile witness said he saw the white pickup crash into the arena where he saw sparks fly from the crash. He said he saw a man attempting to get to his feet in front of the pickup, and the vehicle repeatedly struck the man, approximately three times, at about 15 to 20 miles per hour, according to the affidavit.

Another juvenile witness who was walking between the arena and high school told authorities he saw a white pickup "ram a guy against the building," according to the affidavit. The pickup backed up and ran into the man two more times for a total of three collisions, the witness said.

None of the court filings indicate whether Bison knew Geigle or had a connection with him.

Bison, who appeared in court Wednesday morning without an attorney present, said he was "guilty" multiple times throughout the proceedings even though South Central District Court Judge Cynthia Feland did not ask him to enter a plea.

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"I'm guilty of all charges, and that's all I'm going to say the rest of the meeting," Bison interjected while Feland was reading the charges against him.

On Wednesday, Feland reviewed 10 cases, six from Burleigh County and four from Morton County, that were related to the Monday hit-and-run incident. Bison had a suspended driver's license and multiple prior convictions of drunken driving and failure to show up to court proceedings. He also had a record of altercations with law enforcement and attempts to flee arrest.

Prosecutors from Morton and Burleigh counties said Bison was a danger to the public, and because of the seriousness of the charges against him his bail should be high. Feland ultimately agreed and set his bond at $1.5 million.

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Authorities say the suspect's white Ford truck, which was towing another truck, struck a UPS vehicle on Bismarck's State Street, swerved off the road and rolled over in front of the Motel 6.
Michelle Griffith / The Forum

After the incident on Monday, law enforcement released images from the surveillance footage of the white pickup involved in the hit-and-run. Multiple witnesses reported seeing the truck in Mandan. At around 8:54 a.m., Bismarck police officers were in pursuit of the white pickup, which was then towing a white 1976 Chevrolet Blazer.

Police pursued white pickup near Bismarck's Motel 6, where the pickup collided with a UPS truck, causing the pickup and Chevrolet Blazer to roll into the ditch in front of the Motel 6. An officer saw Bison exit the pickup and attempt to walk away before he was apprehended by officers.

Bison was taken to Sanford Health Bismarck for medical treatment. Officers inspected the pickup an saw it had front-end damage and what appeared to be blood near the driver's side door and bumper, according to court documents.

Bison's next court appearance had not been set as of midday Wednesday, and he was being held at the Burleigh Morton Detention Center.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Mandan Police Department asked Mandan residents who live in the area from Second Street Northwest to Interstate 94 and between 10th Avenue Northwest and Collins Avenue to view any exterior video they have from Monday and look for Bison's truck, a white F-250 Ford pickup. The pickup has a grill guard and a head rack, according to the Mandan Police Department.

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Police are looking for footage from 6:30 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. on Monday. If residents have video, they are asked to call the Mandan Police Department at 701-667-3250.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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