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Stevens County squad car hit on Hwy 28

The Stevens County Sheriff's Department is down one squad car after an accident on Highway 28 that totaled a vehicle in the fleet last week.

According to the State Patrol, Stevens County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Dingman was driving west on Hwy. 28 at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24 when he saw another car traveling eastbound crossed over into the westbound lane, onto the westbound shoulder and into the westbound ditch.

The gray, 2002 Ford Taurus continued driving on the shoulder for about 350 feet, then exited the ditch and struck the front, left side of Dingman's 2007 squad car.

The driver of the Ford Taurus, Jason Holden, 26 of Backus, Minn., was transported by ambulance to the hospital where he was treated and released before the State Patrol could get a statement from him.

Because of the time of year - car companies have stopped production on 2011 vehicles and haven't started on 2012 models - Sheriff Randy Willis said the department will not replace the squad car immediately.

At a budget work session on Tuesday morning, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners reviewed a list of the department's available vehicles. The county's 2012 preliminary budget currently includes $32,000 for purchasing a new vehicle for the sheriff's office.