Investigation Continues at Hector International Airport After Fatal Crash

Authorities say the crash happened at around 12:40 a.m. on Hector International Airport's primary runway

FARGO, ND — Police continue to investigate a fatal crash at Hector International Airport.

Two vehicles going the same direction on the airport’s primary runway collided, leaving one man dead.

Authorities say the crash happened at around 12:40 a.m. on Hector International Airport’s primary runway.

They say Airport Assistant Director Darren Anderson was driving an airport authority vehicle.

Darry Arveson Jr., 48, was driving a small utility painting vehicle.

“The contractor was out on the runway for a couple of reasons,” said the airport’s executive director, Shawn Dobberstein. “Primarily, to remove some pavement markings and also to re-mark and re-paint markings out on our primary runway.”

Dobberstein said this type of work is normal maintenance and always takes place during the night.

However, he’s never seen a tragic accident like this happen before.

“We’ve had aircraft incidents and those types of things, but as far as a vehicle pedestrian type incident out in the airfield, no, we haven’t had anything like that not in my 10 years here,” he added.

Arveson, who is from Glen Ullin, North Dakota, died at the scene.

Anderson and his passenger were not hurt.

Police said a number of factors will play a role in the investigation.

“Was there adequate lighting? Was there lighting on the vehicle? Was the employee’s vehicle lit up as far as headlights on?” Deputy Chief Joe Anderson asked. “There’s a lot of things were going to be looking at to determine what caused the crash.”

Maintenance was being held to shorten a temporary runway from 9,000 feet to 7,300.

Certain markings have to be covered up and new markings have to be put down so it looks like a runway to a pilot.

“We have to keep these markings up to compliance with federal standards and that’s what this company does,” Dobberstein said.

 

Police believe speed did not play a role in the crash.

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