Semi Driver Dies, Many Crashes Statewide

By Holly Wagner, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The driver of a semi truck died after the vehicle rolled over in Shakopee, Minn. Monday morning.

The State Patrol said it happened at County Road 101 and Highway 169. The driver was wearing a seat belt.

It appears that icy conditions contributed to the accident.

All over the state, drivers are getting into more accidents than usual, given many roads were cleared over the weekend.

Since midnight until about 10 a.m. Monday, there have been 70 crashes throughout Minnesota. Of those, 55 were in the Twin Cities metro area. Twelve of those accidents involved injuries.

State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said that water on the roadways, especially on bridge decks and ramps, has been refreezing, which is the likely culprit in many of the crashes around the state.

Roeske urged drivers to shift gears in their driving mentality, to be prepared for icy roads and to give yourself extra time and distance.

More from Holly Wagner
  • Dusty Sinclair

    Well MNDOT was out either with the salt this morning. Yes the roads were plowed and MNDOT should have known that the thawing temperatures yesterday would have caused icy roads this morning. MNDOT does a very poor job in maintaining the safety of our roads. MNDOT is off to a sad start again this year, but then again, maybe we don’t pay enough in taxes to cover snow events this early in the season. I’ve come to expect very very poor service for of our highways.

    The Mendota bridge this morning at 6:45, total ice. Lake street bridge, total ice. There is no excuse for such lousy service!

    • eric

      I agree that MnDot did not do a good job of this first weekend/monday commute.
      MnDot said the night before they would be prepared, but they get a D/F for the first snowfall. Where were they on Saturday?
      I was out in the snowstorm on Saturday (not my choice), but in the 3 hours I was out on Hwy 35W & Hwy 10, I only saw ONE snowplow truck. Many areas were down to one usable lane. These are major roads people!
      Not acceptable in my book.

      Now in regards to the monday commute, again, temps near freezing the day before, and the night dipping into 20’s, etc. they should have been out in force.

    • joe

      Sure blame someone else. What part of, it snowed – thawed and refroze don’t people understand? Would the white stuff in the front yard be any clue?

    • Jessica

      Well said!!

  • kite005

    Blame someone else? They didn’t say anything happened and was blaming anyone for anything. It was more of an observation and opinion.

  • KW

    It was a horrid drive in this morning – what normally takes me less than an hour (including dropping my son off at daycare) took over 2 hours this morning. The icy Mendota Bridge explains why traffic was backed up on 110 past 35E this morning when that stretch is normally free flowing.

  • LA

    The news person needs to recant her statement about the truck driver, HE WAS WEARING A SEATBELT.

  • Mike

    Tragic semi accident this morning we lost a close family friend. None of us knows how long we have on this earth, do you know Jesus as you’re savior and where your going to spend eternity because I know he did.

    • Evelyn Judith Kultala

      Mike…I totally agree with you on your post! Yes we lost a man who loved God and is now in HIS presence! We never know how long we have on this earth so complaining about the transportation department in any state that gets snow is pointless…yes it is a great way to vent but it is not heard!

      My points: Got Jesus? Don’t leave home without HIM!

  • Anne Nelson

    I know a snow plow driver who began his job at 1AM on Saturday. These guys put in long hours and are on call all winter long, if it snows on Thanksgiving, they aren’t eating turkey with their familiy, they are out working to keep our families safe. We need to cut them some slack, there are a lot of roads and it takes time to do this job. They can only do so much. When the conditions are horrible and none of us want to drive, they have no choice. It is MN and we have no choice but to slow down and plan on longer commutes. God Bless the family of the driver of the semi who died and those who work very hard to keep our roads safe.

  • Soda

    We got some idiots out there driving like speed demons when they know that the roads are slippery and are in bad conditions. I was hunting this weekend down southern MN and was traveling on 52 South, and saw a lot of cars down ditches especially those cars that flew by me on the left lane. A couple of miles down they eventually went into ditches. Especially this brand new red dodge ram that flew off a cliff. Just because you have a truck that’s a 4×4 and full coverage doesn’t mean that your invincible. We also got this kid that broke through the barrier cables cliff and flew down a creek. Please slow down and pay attention you might be putting others at risk too. Remember Black Ice is uncontrollable when your driving. It not worth losing your family because you want to rush to get somewhere.

  • Tony

    Gotta slow down, folks- that’s the bottom line!

  • Jessica Ryther

    My husband was the semi driver who passed away. He was wearing his seatbelt. He has left behind his 2 little boys, 3 years and 6 years old. He was a believer and servant of God. We met in a missionary training center. He is in the arms of his heavenly Father. There is no one to blame. With great sadness and loss I recognize that this was his time to leave his earthly body.

    • Evelyn Judith Kultala

      Jessica…I am close friends with Isaiah and Helena from Lake Tahoe. I know that your husband was a man of God and he is now in the presence of our Savior. He will be waiting for you and your boys but he will not be forgotten. May you find peace and comfort knowing God is with you! God bless you and thank you for your transparency and knowledge that it was Dana’s time to go home to serve in Heaven!

  • Chris

    I have known him for 5 years and I there hasn’t been one time in which he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. I promise you he was wearing his seatbelt.

  • Isaiah O

    Dana was an awesome man of God. Goofy but serious and he made a deep impact on my life, and I had not realized how deep till today. So often we do not realize what we have until its gone

  • Plow Truck Driver

    Well if people would just think and use their heads a little when it is snowing out, it would greatly reduce accidents on the roads. Like others have stated, 4×4 does not mean invincibility. And given the fact that no one wants higher gas tax’s – there can’t be full crews on duty 24/7 in the event it snows. Plow truck operators have to drive to work in same elements that the motoring public does. They usually manage to do safe and timely manner.

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