West Fargo man ID’d in fatal U-Haul truck versus vehicle crash

WEST FARGO — The man who died in the Wednesday morning two-vehicle crash in West Fargo has been identified by authorities as Levi Burd, 34, of West Fargo.

The crash was reported at 7:45 a.m. at the intersection of 32nd Avenue West and 35th Street West, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

They say Burd was driving a U-Haul box truck west on 32nd Avenue when he was hit on the driver’s side by a Jeep Cherokee heading north on 35th Street.

The Jeep Cherokee was driven by Kirsten Johnson, 29, of West Fargo. She was taken to Sanford with injuries that were not life-threatening. Burd was pronounced dead on scene.

The Highway Patrol said charges against Johnson are still pending. Both drivers were wearing seat belts.

Suspect in Bismarck standoff to serve two years in prison

BISMARCK — A man facing three felony terrorizing charges in a February standoff in Bismarck was sentenced to serve two years in prison after admitting Thursday, July 11, that his actions went too far and changing his pleas to guilty.

Cayetano Coyazo, 26, told South Central District Judge Douglas Bahr that he’d been drinking and was under the influence of drugs when he hit a friend and put her in a closet, the Bismarck Tribune reported. She escaped and called 911, and Coyazo made threats to law enforcement officers when they arrived at the scene.

Police said that during the February incident, Coyazo wrapped his hand in a towel, giving the appearance of a gun, and raised it in a shooting position toward police in the hallway of the apartment building. He retreated to the apartment and refused to surrender, telling police he had machine guns, rocket launchers and other weapons. The West Dakota SWAT team responded and found Coyazo in a back bedroom.

Bahr sentenced Coyazo to five years in prison on the first terrorizing charge, with all but two years suspended.

Bismarck’s new blue lights help identify red-light violators

BISMARCK — Bismarck traffic police have issued more citations for red light violations since the installation last year of confirmation lights, those blue lights on the top or bottom of traffic signals. They’re now launching a program to better monitor the effectiveness of the new tool.

Confirmation lights are wired to the traffic lights and turn on when the signal turns red. Traffic police can see the lights from any angle, making it easier to know when someone runs a red light, the BIsmarck Tribune reported.

Installation of the lights started in late July 2018 and was completed in late fall as part of an upgrade that included better pedestrian signals. The lights are at 109 intersections, with as many as eight per intersection. Each cost $500. Lights on top of a traffic signal help police tell if someone ran the light in the through lane. Lights on the bottom monitor left turns.

Since installation, police have written 223 red light citations, compared with 206 in the same time frame the previous year.

Not all of the stops since installation are because of the confirmation lights, but the lights have contributed, Bismarck police Lt. Jeff Solemsaas said.

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