MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — According to the Minnesota State Patrol, three people were killed in three separate crashes on wet and icy roads on Monday.
The first report of a fatal crash was at 2:00 p.m., when a rollover occurred on northbound Highway 7 in Big Stone County in western Minnesota. A Mercury Grand Marquis went off the road and into a southbound ditch, and then rolled down a steep hill, eventually coming to a rest with the passenger side on the ground.
The driver, 85-year-old Donavan Tesch of Clinton, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Big Stone County Sheriff’s office says roads were wet at the time of the accident.
The State Patrol says the second fatal crash happened around 2:50 p.m., when a tractor jackknifed on eastbound I-94 near HWY 23, crossing the median and coming to rest on the left westbound lane.
A Ford Taurus, traveling westbound, went in to a slide to avoid hitting the tractor, but ended up crashing in to it, driver’s-side first.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s office says the driver of the car was killed. The tractor’s driver, 67-year-old James Hall of Northfield, was not injured in the jackknifing and subsequent crash.
Traffic from HWY 15 to westbound 94 is closed as of 8:30 p.m. Monday night.
State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow says snow was a factor.
“What we are seeing here in West Central Minnesota is troopers and law enforcement have been very busy responding to accidents on icy roads, and so please slow down,” Grabow said.
And the third fatal crash occurred in Aitkin County, just south of St. Cloud, near Highway 210 and 445th Avenue just before 7 p.m. Monday. One vehicle broadsided another, resulting in a fatality. The road condition at the time of the crash was described as “icy.” The State Patrol said a 2005 Chevrolet Classic was heading westbound on Highway 210 when it lost control, slid sideways and hit a 2006 Dodge Stratus.
The State Patrol identified the Aitkin County crash victim as 82-year-old Vera L. Hunt of Deerwood, the driver of the Chevy. The name of the crash victim in St. Cloud has not been released yet.