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Crash course

Lightning may not like repeating itself, but automobiles have no such compunctions when it comes to Aakers College in Fargo. On Aug.

Aakers college location

Lightning may not like repeating itself, but automobiles have no such compunctions when it comes to Aakers College in Fargo.

On Aug. 21, 2004, a motorist went off a sharp bend in the frontage road next to the college and smashed into the building, causing about $25,000 worth of damage.

It was the first of nine cars to leave the road and end up somewhere on the property.

That is until early Wednesday, when yet another car left the road.

The latest one caused an estimated $60,000 in damage went it smashed into the college.


Missing by one day the three-year anniversary of the 2004 crash, the car hit the wall in nearly the same spot.

And like the 2004 vehicle, Wednesday's visitor was bright red, said June Schott, who found the wreckage when she arrived at work at the college about 7:15 a.m.

Schott said she was grateful there were no victims in the car when she peeked inside.

Fargo police said Wednesday they were working to locate the driver.

Before it struck the building, the car took out a large sign warning about the curve in the road and it missed several boulders that had been set up to protect the building.

Betty Largent, director of the college, went to city officials after the 2004 incident to ask for a guardrail.

She made the request again Wednesday when Jonathan Atkins, traffic operations engineer for the city, visited the school to check out the damage.

"She's right, there's definitely a problem down there," said Atkins, who assumed his job in 2005.


Atkins said he will work to make sure a guardrail is planted outside the college, but he said he couldn't give a precise timetable when it will happen.

Largent is afraid someone will be killed some day.

She said the 2004 crash occurred during the day and damaged a classroom that had emptied a few minutes earlier.

School officials are calculating when the next crash anniversary will be.

"We're going to cancel school that day," Largent said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com.
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