The driver of a semi that caught fire in Hubbard County was arrested Sunday for driving under the influence.

According to a Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office press release, a caller reported a semi tractor-trailer driving carelessly on U.S. Hwy. 71 at 5:48 p.m. Oct. 25 in Arago Township, north of Park Rapids. While responding, deputies received a report that the semi had pulled into the Leading Edge Mechanical business and was now on fire.

Upon arrival, firemen found the driver still in the truck. They reported that he was confused and disoriented. Firemen removed the driver from the now fully engulfed truck.

Deputies arrived and identified the driver as Shawn Nelson, 57, of East Grand Forks. Nelson said he was hauling a load of wheat from Thief River Falls to Hastings.

While speaking with Nelson, deputies detected an odor of alcoholic beverage, bloodshot and watery eyes and slurred speech. After failing sobriety testing, he was arrested for DUI and transported to the Hubbard County jail.

At the jail, Nelson agreed to a breath test, blowing a .20 blood alcohol concentration. He was charged with third-degree DUI.

The semi was a total loss due to the fire. The business also sustained damage due to fire and heat.

The incident remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office.


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