A 35-year-old Lisbon, N.D., man died Wednesday following a head-on collision 12.5 miles south of Finley in Steele County.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol reported Ernest Matelski, 54, of Hillsboro, was driving a Peterbilt tractor on Highway 32 south of Finley Wednesday when he encountered a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche heading north on the highway.

The approaching vehicle crossed the center line into the southbound lane and struck the Peterbilt driven by Matelski in a head-on collision around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Highway Patrol.

Matelski’s semi and an attached trailer went into the west ditch while the Chevrolet Avalanche entered the east ditch, rolled and caught fire.

The driver of the Avalanche was pronounced dead on the scene by the Steele County coroner. It is unknown whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt prior to the collision

The identity of the man had not been released by the Highway Patrol early Thursday afternoon pending notification of the accident to the family.

Matelski was not injured in the collision.

The crash remains under investgation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

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