Fatal crash claims one near Belcourt

The North Dakota Highway Patrol has reported a fatal accident that occurred Friday around 4:30 p.m.

Kevin Tjaden, 23, of Belcourt, the driver of a 1990 Geo Storm, was driving south on 35th Ave. N.E., a rural gravel road northeast of Belcourt. Sheldon Azure, 26, of St. John, the driver of a 1993 Dodge Ram 250 pickup, was driving north at the same location. The vehicles met at a crest in the road.

Tjaden’s vehicle turned to the east to avoid Azure’s pickup as Azure turned to the west. The front end of Tjaden’s vehicle struck the passenger side of Azure’s pickup. Both vehicles came to rest in the east ditch. Tjaden’s vehicle received extensive damage to the entire car, while Azure’s pickup had extensive front-end damage.

Tjaden was transported to Presentation Medical Center in Rolla, then airlifted to Trinity Hospital in Minot. Joshua Jeanotte, 25, of Belcourt, was the rear seat passenger in Tjaden’s vehicle and was taken to the hospital in Belcourt for treatment of his injuries. Jarrod Azure, 20, also of Belcourt, was the front seat passenger in Tjaden’s vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The two occupants in Azure’s pickup, Azure and Calvin Lavallie, 17, of Belcourt, were not injured.

The crash remains under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.