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Two West Fargo residents injured in crash on Main Avenue

Two people from West Fargo were hurt Thursday when their car crashed into a downtown Fargo building after colliding with a vehicle that ran a red light, police said.

Maryan Olow, 69, and Farhia Ali, 13, were taken to Fargo MeritCare Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Ali was in guarded condition Thursday afternoon, and Olow was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Both females were passengers in a Toyota Camry driven by Mahamud Hassan, 23, of West Fargo. He was not injured.

Fargo Police Sgt. Ross Renner said a woman driving a two-door Ford Tempo southbound on University Drive mistakenly thought a red light at Main Avenue had turned green and pulled into the intersection shortly after 9:15 a.m.

The eastbound Camry collided with the Tempo and veered up the boulevard, crashing into a corner of the Diamond Vogel Paints building and breaking the gas main.

As flammable gas flowed freely from the line, firefighters evacuated the building and performed an emergency extrication to remove one of the victims from the four-door Camry.

"It was difficult to get the gas shut off to the building because the car had pinned the gas meter basically inside the wall of the building," Fargo Fire Capt. Ron Guggisberg said.

An Xcel Energy crew shut off the gas and started repairs after the Camry was towed away about 10 a.m. The intersection was reopened 10 minutes later.

The Tempo's driver, Judith Clauson, 54, of Fargo, wasn't hurt. She was cited for disobeying an automatic signal, driving under suspension and driving without liability insurance, Sgt. Jeff Skuza said.

George Merchant of Fargo, who witnessed the accident, said he was stopped in his car next to the Tempo when it pulled out into the intersection.

"I've never seen something that blatant before, where someone hits the accelerator and goes through a red light," he said.