I-35E In Hugo Reopened After Fatal Accident

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Both lanes of traffic are open again after a fatal accident on Interstate 35E near Hugo, Minn. shut down the area for several hours.

The State Patrol said the accident happened around 6:22 a.m. and involved two semi trucks and at least two other vehicles. A 46-year-old mother was driving with her 20-year-old daughter, both of North Branch, when traffic congestion brought them to a standstill.

State Patrol said a semi truck carrying cars apparently didn’t see the stopped car and rear-ended the vehicle, pushing it into oncoming traffic.

A second semi then hit the passenger-side of the car. The 20-year-old daughter died on the scene. The mother was taken to Regents Hospital, where her condition is unknown at this time.

I-35E was shut down on County Road J in both directions while crews reconstructed the accident. Both lanes of traffic reopened around 10:30 a.m.

Officials say neither semi truck driver was injured.

The county attorney will review the accident details and decide whether charges should be filed.

Lt. Eric Roeske, of the Minnesota State Patrol, said this is a reminder to everyone on the road to pay attention in construction zones. Traffic in this case is typically separated by a median, but due to road work, both lanes of traffic were running side-by-side.

  • gdog

    They seriously need to consider getting the road work done sooner than later on that 10 mile stretch. It’s very dangerous and really is a nightmare to drive on each day. I hope after seeing this horrible accident they will realize how important it is to complete these large projects as quickly as possible. .

  • elmer

    Thee was a horrible accident in that exact same spot last wednesday. Why wasn’t it fixed then?

  • frankgarrett

    Very Sad . My prayers go out to the Family .. Some of the worst driving i go through is on I-94 from Hudson to Saint Paul. I often say “wheres a cop when you need one” People in this area have no respect on the Roads . People act as if there god . Makes me SICK

    • Dave's Not Here

      If that’s the worst driving you see, then you don’t drive much, Frank. That’s the easiest stretch of flat, straight freeway around, ya goon.

    • Rural Route

      Frank, get back on the sidewalk where you belong! Drivers like you are the problem on I-94.

  • Ted Wilson

    I just don’t understand how this could happen. If believe all the safety training these truck drivers go through then why are they not following at a safe distance that allows them enough stopping distance to react to traffic situations.
    If it’s any condolence to the family some trucking firm insurance company will be paying a very large settlement.

  • Hugo Man

    Sad news.. My prayers to the family. Having a narrow path, and nothing but small sticks dividing you from incoming traffic is not a good position to be in. While driving on 35E, I have thought many times how easy accidents could happen and have seen 3, now this :( I now avoid this large section of 35E completely. Wish they had found another way to complete this project without the large decrease in safety.

  • Semi Shy

    In my own experiences I would say that semi drivers seem to think they own the roads…I’m bigger than you, get out of my way. In my own life I was run off the road by a semi that decided he wanted my lane without even looking…I had nowhere to go but into the snow-filled ditch at 55mph, or be smashed. Just this week I was the sitting at a red stop light on Cleveland and County B2, left lane. A semi came barreling along B2 and turned left in front of me onto Cleveland…without paying any attention to what he was really doing or how he cut the corner. If there had been a car behind me and I was unable to react fast enough to get into reverse and go a good FULL CAR length, my passenger and I would not be here today. He obviously figured he coudl drive how he wanted and people would move for him. This morning a semi right in front of me moved from the left lane of 35W to the middle lane so fast that his trailer looked like it was going to roll, and there were cars in that lane laying on their horns and having to react quickly to get out of his way. I ended up having to move as far left as I could in my lane so that the person on the side of the trailer could try to escape by coming alongside of me in my lane to avoid getting smashed in his. It was a miracle nothing ended up happening there.

    My point here? Maybe it’s not the construction zone that’s unsafe, maybe it’s the way these semi drivers are driving. Maybe officers need to be more aware of moves thes trucks make that could potentially hurt or kill somebody, and ticket them for their reckless driving.

    My heart goes out to that family, to the mom when she finds out about her daughter…I can’t even imagine that pain.

    • trucker

      We haul 80 000lbs, we get cut of all the time, if it wasnt for that most of us truck drivers putting safety first , it would have been allot of more accidents, as people in general are driving crazy. Statistically, its more accidents not involving a semi, give us some space and stay safe

      • Oakdale mom

        Can’t really compare statistics with cars vs semis as the ratio of cars vs semis is quite out numbered!…of course there are more car accidents. Some semi drivers are courteous as well as some auto drivers are courteous. It’s a matter of common sense. A semi driver is much higher up than a car so they should be able to see much further ahead seeing stopped traffic thus having no reason to not stop in time. We all need to pay attention to the road and not our phones, ipods, radios, cd’s cigarettes, sandwiches, soda, etc.
        Many thoughts and prayers to the families involved.

        • guitarzan8

          Very wisely put Oakdale. I’m not a trucker, but I’m on their “side” on this one. trucker, you nailed it when you wrote “people in general are driving crazy”. I don’t know if it’s a training thing (drivers ed, behind the wheel), or an awareness thing (like you wrote Oakdale, cellphones, food), or an inability to share the road, but it needs improvement. I don’t believe more enforcement is the answer, since they recently increased that and all they do is tag seat belt non-wearers and “rolling stoppers”. I believe it’s part training where instead of giving someone just enough training to “pass the test”, give more of courtesy and driving ethics.

          While I have my soapbox, I believe that we don’t want the construction crews to work faster than the project alotted for them. Ever own a product that was put together cheaply? You can tell the difference while using it! There is a website to find out when it’s going to be finished, plus they update it as they go. A very nice service! http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/current.html

  • Mn Commuter

    This is so horrible. MNDOT, this project NEEDS to get done soon. And WHY did WBL decide to do roadwork on HWY 61 which is suppoed to be the alternate route. Prayers go out to the family.

  • M Br

    The project was slowed down because of the Gov’t shutdown, otherwise it’s be half done by now. If you want to blame someone, blame your legislators for Not Playing Well with one another.

    My wife went on that one section by Cty14 ONCE and never went back again. We use back roads now. The one day she had just merged and shortly afterwards came to a sudden stop with all the other traffic and just had to wait in one of those “Inexplicable slowdowns” (which are most often caused by people who can’t merge or unwilling to let others in farther up the road). It wasn’t long before impatient people were actually turning around across the lane divider sticks into high speed oncoming traffic. The wife came home that night and said, “people are going to die out there.”

    Looks like someone did.

    My sincerest condolences to the family.

    Maybe it’s time to tax the semis more heavily and build an extra lane that they have to stick to so that the rest of the road is semi-free.

  • kelly

    How sad my prayers go out to the family. I just want to say I am not siding with anyone here, but from experience a semi can not quickly stop fast like cars can unfortually. I see a lot on the roads that cars cut right in front of semi’s and thinking they can quick stop and they again can not. I am not saying this is what happen here I am just saying in general. Again my prayers go out to the family.

  • Steve

    Inattentive driving is atleast one possible charge against the semi driver’s…I was almost hit by one that ran a red on highway 55 near Koch Refinery a fews years ago…most semi driver’s today think the roads belong to them…SHAME!

  • wife of a trucker

    Why is it automatically the truckers fault? My husband drives truck & you would not believe some of the s**t people do to him. He has said byfar that the traffic in the minneapolis-st paul area is HORRIBLE! Inconsiderate jerks! Think about it the next time you cut off a semi & then hit the brakes. 80000 pounds is hard to stop in short time.
    How would you like it if the truck drivers came to your work place & f**ked with you all day while you work? Because that is EXACTLY what you do when you drive like a moron. The truckers are out there trying to make a living & all you people who drive like jerks make it hard to do.
    Hope this gets thru to you people. Because without the truckers, you wouldn’t have anything. It all gets to the store IN/ON a truck.
    Prayers to all people involved in this accident. Including the 2 truck drivers.

    • Dave's Not Here

      Why is it automatically the trucker’s fault?

      I have your answer. Because he didn’t notice the car in front of him was stopped, and he barreled into the car and killed the people in it.

      Minor detail, eh?

    • Oakdale mom

      Why is it the truckers fault? The car that was hit was stopped. That means not moving. Why would it not be the truckers fault. When you’re stopped in traffic are you supposed to get out of your car and wave your arms to let people know you’re not moving? DUH. We have brake lights for a reason.

      It’s all a matter of simply not paying attention. That trucker just happened to be driving the semi at the time…he most likely would have been driving the same way with the same results if he was in his auto. If you’re paying attention, you’d see brake lights ahead. Going too fast…too close and just not paying attention. Just takes a split second for an accident to happen. Yes there are some great semi drivers out there supplying us with our every day needs but there are also some jerks that think they own the road.

  • Lee

    Wife of a truck driver ~ I see this a lot on the roads how people cut right in front of semi’s and come on not a good idea to do this. All that weight they can not stop quickly enough I agree with this. Do not know what happen here in this accident but my thoughts and prayer go out to everyone here what an awful accident. :(


    My fiance is a truck driver as well and he is always saying how people are always cutting him off. but it this situation that truck driver is at fault considering he is the one that didnt pay attenction to the break lights ahead going straight into her car putting her in a different lane. i live close to north branch and i feel so extremely horrible for that family i could never imagine. this construction has been going on for weeks if people dont realize that its going to be delays then dont fricken drive.. they have SIGNS miles and miles up to the consturction be prepared to slow the hell down. quit playing with peoples lives. praying for the !

  • Chris

    Plastic tubes are something you use in a parking lot or maybe a city street. MN DOT should be using portable cement jersey barriers to seperate traffic at those speeds.

  • Nick

    wow all of you people sit here and cry about how its not the truckers fault um how is it not he was paying no attention to the road and killed my good friends cousin and his aunt is in critical condition all of you people make me sick

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