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61 Cars Involved In Mendota Bridge Crash

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman involved in a multi-car crash near the Mendota Bridge said the scene is unlike anything she’s ever seen.

Highway 55 was closed for nearly 90 minutes Monday as crews worked to clear the accident scene. Around 2:50 p.m., the road was reopened.

Authorities say the accident happened just short of the Mendota Bridge, on westbound Highway 55, between Highway 5 and Highway 110. One person was transferred to the hospital with minor injuries.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the accident began after two vehicles lost control and a semi jack-knifed. Sixty-one vehicles after the jack-knifed semi then piled into each other.

Shelley Jones, of Inver Grove Heights, said she was on Highway 55 when she saw cars started spinning, losing control.

“We couldn’t stop…we hit a Trailblazer. At that time we did a 180 turn around and we seen an F-150 coming right at us that we knew it wasn’t going to stop so it clipped off like the whole drivers side front end of our car,” Jones said.

She told WCCO Radio, from the vehicle she’s in, that she hit one car and was hit head-on by another.

“For the most part it looks like everybody’s OK,” she said. “It’s kind of chaotic right now, not knowing what to do but they have EMTs here now and police.”

She said a lot of cars look to be totaled.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” she said.

Lt. Eric Roeske of State Patrol said the crash was a typical winter weather crash, but what was unusual was the number of cars involved.

He said it’s prrof Minnesotans can get complacent driving in snow.

“It’s just so critically important to recognize at any time it’s below freezing and there’s precipitation there’s potential for that,” Roeske said. “We are very fortunate someone wasn’t seriously injured or even killed.”

Roeske said he’s grateful that one driver caught part of the crash on video, as it shows the rest of us what troopers deal with every day.


A witness, Joe Mueller, posted this dramatic video on Facebook of the incident while it happened. (WARNING: Explicit Language)

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