Semi driver arrested for drunk driving, semi caught fire prior to arrest

A semi-truck driver was arrested Sunday for drunk driving, after an incident where the truck caught fire.

According to a release from Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes, deputies responded to a reckless driving call on Highway 71 and while arriving, received a report of the truck, smoking, pulling into a business north of Park Rapids around 6 p.m. Sunday. 

Firefighters from the Park Rapids Fire Department were able to remove the driver, 57-year-old Shawn Nelson of East Grand Forks, as the truck was fully engulfed in flames.

Deputies detected an odor of alcohol and observed that Nelson had bloodshot and watery eyes, as well as slurred speech.

Nelson was arrested after failing a field sobriety test, and blew a .20 on the breathalyzer.

The semi truck that caught fire is considered a total loss, and was carrying a load of wheat from Thief River Falls to Hastings.

The business also sustained some damage from the fire and heat. The incident remains under investigation.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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